Rabies Virus

Authored by: Dongyou Liu

Molecular Detection of Animal Viral Pathogens

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498700368
eBook ISBN: 9781498700375
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b19719-ch41

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Abstract

Rabies virus is the causative agent of a zoonotic disease called rabies (a term derived from Latin word rabies, meaning "fury" or "madness"), which has been known since antiquity. The disease is easily recognizable when a dog infected with rabies virus loses its usual temperament and attacks/bites people without provocation. Considered a scourge for its prevalence in the nineteenth century, rabies has created irrational fear among people due to the absence of efficacious treatment. Following the discovery of the causative agent and the development of postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), this once ferocious disease has been largely brought under control. As a consequence, rabies has become a neglected disease in modern times, in spite of its stubbornly high prevalence and its association with around 50,000 deaths each year worldwide. In this chapter, we redraw readers′ attention to rabies virus, with a concise overview on its classification, morphology, genome organization, epidemiology, clinical features, pathogen-esis, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. This is followed by the presentation of streamlined molecular protocols for its detection and identification, and a discussion of future research needs that will help us keeping an upper hand over this deadly pathogen.

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