Published Date: 2012-08-05 09:36:07
Subject: PRO/AH> Rabies - Peru (04): comment
Archive Number: 20120805.1228965
RABIES - PERU (04): COMMENT
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri 3 Aug 2012
From: Steven Van Gucht [edited]
I would like to comment on the posting about the apparent abortive rabies virus infections observed in Peru [ProMED-mail archive no. 20120802.1226037].
The occurrence of such abortive infections is indeed a very interesting observation. I would like to add that there are some older reports that describe the occurrence of seropositive individuals in some populations at risk, which seem to have seroconverted without the development of brain disease:
T.C. Doege, R.L. Northrop, Evidence for inapparent rabies infection, Lancet 2 (1974) 826-829.
D. Black, T.J. Wiktor, Survey of raccoon hunters for rabies antibody titers: pilot study, J Fla Med Assoc 73 (1986) 517-520.
Actually, very little is known about the behaviour of the rabies virus in peripheral tissues before entry in the central nervous system. In mice, we observed that infection of macrophages might enhance the antibody response to the rabies virus, results are described in a paper that we recently submitted for publication.
Steven Van Gucht
Head of Scientific Service
Viral Diseases | Communicable and Infectious Diseases
Scientific Institute of Public Health
Rue Engelandstraat 642 | 1180 Brussels, Belgium
[ProMED thanks Steven Van Gucht for his comments and the references about rabies antibodies in unvaccinated people. The biological significance of antibodies in the individuals remains to be determined, but one hopes that reports such as these will stimulate further research.
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map showing the location of the Cusco, Peru region, where the human rabies cases have been occurring this year (2012), can be accessed at http://healthmap.org/r/2rCL. - Mod.TY]