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Rabies transmission

Wed Feb 28 22:16:08 EST 1996

Mike Sussman (sussman at cvm.msu.edu) wrote:

          >Perhaps to be on the safe side you have consulted with a
          >veterinarian, and investigated whether your pet bat was or
          >wasn't a rabies carrier .... It is easy for a veterinary
          >professional to determine if your pet has rabies, you could
          >have saved yourself a hassle and perhaps some grief for
          >your pet bat.

          On the contrary, it can be difficult to diagnose rabies
          clinically in some cases with some species of animal and
          bats would probably fall into this category. Behavioural
          changes in rabies may be subtle and not likely to be
          pathognomonic. Bats can be carriers of rabies without
          exhibiting clinical signs. Serological tests are unreliable
          indicators of rabies exposure. Definitive diagnosis of
          rabies requires that the suspected affected animal be
          destroyed and the brain examined histopathologically and by
          immunofluorescence or other immunological technique for the
          presence of rabies antigen.

          Adrian W Philbey
          Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute
          Private Mail Bag 8
          Camden  NSW  2570

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