Short Communication

Report of isolations of unusual lyssaviruses (rabies and Mokola virus) identified retrospectively from Zimbabwe : short communication

J. Bingham, S. Javangwe, C.T. Sabeta, A.I. Wandeler, L.H. Nel
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 72, No 2 | a624 | DOI: | © 2001 J. Bingham, S. Javangwe, C.T. Sabeta, A.I. Wandeler, L.H. Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 July 2001 | Published: 09 July 2001

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J. Bingham,
S. Javangwe,
C.T. Sabeta,
A.I. Wandeler,
L.H. Nel,

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Rabies isolates that had been stored between 1983 and 1997 were examined with a panel of anti-lyssavirus nucleocapsid monoclonal antibodies. Out of 56 isolates from cats and various wild carnivore species, 1 isolate of Mokola virus and 5 other non-typical rabies viruses were identified. The Mokola virus isolate was diagnosed as rabies in 1993 from a cat. Genetic analysis of this isolate suggests that it falls in a distinct subgroup of the Mokola virus genotype. The 5 non-typical rabies viruses were isolated from honey badgers (Mellivora capensis), African civets (Civettictis civetta) and an unidentified mongoose (Herpestidae). These isolates are representatives of rarely-reported wildlife-associated strains of rabies, probably maintained by the slender mongoose (Galerella sanguinea). These findings indicate that both Mokola virus and the mongoose-associated variant may be more common in Zimbabwe than is apparent from routine surveillance.


Lyssavirus; Mokola Virus; Rabies; Zimbabwe


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