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2007/2008 Rhabdoviridae Findings

1. Sudarshan, M K et al. "Assessing the Burden of Human Rabies in India: Results of a National Multi-Center Epidemiological Survey." International Journal of Infectious Diseases (2007): 29-35.

In this study, researchers re-evaluated the burden of rabies in India. They concluded that the annual incidence of rabies infection was around 20,565 people per year. They also found that dog bites were responsible for 96.2% of the infections.

2. Shimizua, Kenta et al. "Involvement of Nucleoprotein, Phosphoprotein, and Matrix Protein Genes of Rabies Virus in Virulence for Adult Mice." Virus Research 123 (2007): 154-160.

The Ni-CE strain of rabies virus is non-lethal in adult mice, whereas the parental Nishigahara strain is lethal. In this study, they found that the source of attenuation in the Ni-CE strains is related to the N, P and M genes. Previously, this group had shown that differences in the G gene were associated an attenuated form of the Nishigahara rabies strain, RC-HL. These findings suggest that rabies can be attenuated by a number of methods.

3. Blanton, Jesse B et al. "Rabies Surveillance in the United States during 2006." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 231 (2007): 540-556.

This paper, published in 2007, documented the prevalence of rabies in the United States in 2006. There were 3 reported cases of human infection with rabies (in California, Texas, and Indiana). There were also 6,940 cases of animals infected with rabies reported. Of these infected animals, 37.7% were raccoons, 24.4% were bats, 21.5% were skunks, 6.2% were foxes, 4.6% were cats, 1.2% were cattle, and 1.1% were dogs.

4. Dobardzic, Azra et al. "Safety Review of the Purified Chick Embryo Cell Rabies Vaccine: Data From the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), 1997–2005." Vaccine 25 (2007): 4244-4251.

RabAvert, a Purified Chick Embryo Cell vaccine, was licensed by the FDA in 1997. Between 1997 and 2005, there have been 336 reports of adverse events received by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. 24 reports described serious events, including 20 hospitalizations and 12 neurological events. There were 312 non-serious adverse events. However, most reported AE's are non-serious and consistent with pre-licensure safety data.

5. Roche, Stephane et al. "Structure of the Prefusion Form of the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Glycoprotein G." Science 315 (2007): 843-848.

Like other viruses of the Rhabdoviridae family, VSV enters the cell via endocytosis, and thereafter a low pH triggers a membrane fusion. This study determined the structure of the prefusion form of glycoprotein G, which is the viral protein that triggers fusion, to a 3.0 angstrom resolution. In the prefusion form, G has a tripod shape with its fusion loops exposed and pointing at the viral membrane. It also found that a large number of G proteins act cooperatively to induce membrane merging.