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Rabies. Danielle Flores & Bailey Brown. What is Rabies?. Rabies is a preventable viral disease of warm blooded mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Etiology . Rabies is caused by lyssaviruses in the Rhabdovirus family

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Danielle Flores & Bailey Brown

what is rabies
What is Rabies?
  • Rabies is a preventable viral disease of warm blooded mammals most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal.
  • Rabies is caused by lyssaviruses in the Rhabdovirus family
  • The Rhabdoviruses are uniquely bullet-shaped. They contain a negative stranded RNA genome and are very stable to drying.
  • Lyssaviruses are a group of viruses that includes rabies and bat lyssavirus
  • Lyssaviruses are usually confined to 1 major species in a given area, although spillover to other species is common.
rabies history
Rabies History
  • The disease was first documented by the ancient Babylonians.
  • GirolamaFracastoro discovered the rabies virus.
  • Louis Pasteur discovered the rabies vaccine in 1895, when he was 63 years old, relying on Fracastoro's written notes.
  • Rabies was so feared in early history that many patients who suffered from the illness were put to death, either intentionally or accidentally
  • It was common practice to shoot, poison, suffocate or use some other form to kill any animal or human with the rabies virus.
  • Breed: Rabies most commonly affects carnivores and bats, but can affect all mammals.
  • Age: Young animals may be more susceptible to rabies than older animals.
  • Gender: It is unknown whether the males or females are more susceptible to rabies.
  • Rabies is zoonotic (primarily through bats)
  • Rabies can infect all mammals through transmission in the saliva(dogs are primary vectors)
  • Most exposure results from animal bites
  • When an animal is bit, the virus ascends through the peripheral nerves to the brain. Once it enters the brain, the virus replicates. It then moves to the salivary glands.
  • After the virus enters the salivary glands, it may be transmitted to other animals or humans.
clinical phases
Clinical Phases
  • The clinical course may be divided into 3 phases
  • Prodromal
  • Lasts 1-3 days
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Intermittent fever
  • irritability
  • Excitative
  • “mad-dog” phase
  • Lasts less than a week
  • Sometimes skipped
  • Lack of coordination, twitching, and/or seizures
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Restlessness and roaming
  • lack of recognition for familiar people and places
  • Lack of fear toward natural predators
  • paralytic/endstage
  • Foaming at the mouth
    • This symptom is caused by the growing paralysis of the throat and jaw muscle
  • Slack jawed appearance
  • Full body paralysis, which results in death
  • It should be noted that the virus can remain active inside a dead animal for forty-eight hours
clinical signs
Clinical Signs
  • Most animals will exhibit signs of disturbance in the CNS, but signs vary with species.
  • Common signs include:
    • progressive paralysis
    • sudden anorexia
    • apprehension or nervousness
    • Irritability
    • Hyperexcitability
    • Ataxia
    • altered phonation
    • changes in temperament
  • Humans:
    • Fluorescent antibody test on punch biopsy of skin from the nuchal region and corneal impressions
    • In vitro virus isolation from saliva
    • Virus neutralization assay on serum, for evidence of rabies antibody
    • Virus neutralization assay on cerebrospinal fluid, for evidence of rabies antibody
    • rt-pcr (Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction) for viral RNA and genomic nucleotide sequence analysis on saliva
  • Animals:
    • Testing in animals is most frequently done using the direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) test.
    • requires brain tissue from animals suspected of being rabid.
    • The test can only be performed post-mortem
  • No cure.
  • if a person is bitten by a rabid animal and has not yet experienced symptoms, there is an extremely effective post-exposure treatment, which includes an injection of rabies immune globulin and several containing rabies vaccine given over a 28-day period.
    • Rabies vaccination (can be given before or after infection) using a human diploid cell vaccine (HDC) or Purified chick embryo cell vaccine (PCEC).
    • Killed rabies vaccine is given at 12 weeks or older in dogs and cats.
  • Always wash and care for a wound, if bitten, with soap and water as soon as possible.
  • If your pet bites a person, it must be quarantined for 10 days at your expense.
  • Rabies is considered a fatal disease, with death occurring three days to one week from the first sign of symptoms.
  • There are few, if any, reports of recovery from rabies.
pathologic lesions
Pathologic Lesions
  • Histopathologic evidence of rabies inflammation in brain tissue and meninges includes the following:
    • Mononuclear infiltration
    • Perivascular cuffing of lymphocytes or polymorphonuclear cells
    • Lymphocytic foci
    • Babes nodules consisting of glial cells
    • Negri bodies

Perivascular cuffing or inflammation around a blood vessel. Perivascular inflammatory cell infiltrates in hematoxylin & eosin stained brain tissue. (100x Magnification

Babes Nodules


Negri body in infected neuron

Enlargement of a Negri body in Sellers stained brain tissue. Note the basophilic (dark blue granules in the inclusion).

p revention
  • Avoid Wild Animals (&BATS!)
    • Many bites and scratches that necessitate post exposure therapy occur when people try to feed or handle a wild animal.
  • Vaccinate Domestic Animals
    • Approved rabies vaccines are currently available for dogs, cats, ferrets, horses, cattle, and sheep.
  • Pre-exposure Vaccination of Humans
    • Pre-exposure vaccination should be offered to all persons whose activities place them at increased risk for being exposed to the rabies virus or to potentially rabid animals .
  • Prevent contact with saliva of infected animals,
  • Wash bite wounds and apply providone-iodine solution;
  • Vaccinate dogs and cats
client education
Client Education
  • Vaccinate pets
  • Never handle wild animals that appear tame
  • Don’t leave food outside
  • The quarantine is to protect humans, not your pet.

We don’t want rabies!

  • http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/102300.htm&word=rabies
  • http://www.cdc.gov/rabies/
  • http://www.nwcphp.org/docs/rabies/prevention.html
  • http://dogs.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Rabies_Symptoms
  • http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/factsheets/infectious/rabiesbatinfection.html
  • http://www.wadsworth.org/rabies/prof/ante.htm