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Advances in Preventive Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 727821, 6 pages
Research Article

Laboratory Surveillance of Rabies in Humans, Domestic Animals, and Bats in Madagascar from 2005 to 2010

1National Laboratory for Rabies, Virology Unit, Institut Pasteur de Madagascar, Route de l'Institut Pasteur, BP 1274, 101 Antananarivo, Madagascar
2Lyssavirus Dynamics and Host Adaptation Unit, National Reference Centre for Rabies, WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Rabies, Institut Pasteur, 75724 Paris, France

Received 30 April 2011; Accepted 22 June 2011

Academic Editor: Shampur Narayan Madhusudana

Copyright © 2011 Jean-Marc Reynes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Rabies virus (RABV) has circulated in Madagascar at least since the 19th century. Objectives. To assess the circulation of lyssavirus in the island from 2005 to 2010. Materials and Methods. Animal (including bats) and human samples were tested for RABV and other lyssavirus using antigen, ribonucleic acid (RNA), and antibodies detection and virus isolation. Results. Half of the 437 domestic or tame wild terrestrial mammal brains tested were found RABV antigen positive, including 54% of the 341 dogs tested. This percentage ranged from 26% to 75% across the period. Nine of the 10 suspected human cases tested were laboratory confirmed. RABV circulation was confirmed in 34 of the 38 districts sampled. No lyssavirus RNA was detected in 1983 bats specimens. Nevertheless, antibodies against Lagos bat virus were detected in the sera of 12 among 50 Eidolon dupreanum specimens sampled. Conclusion. More than a century after the introduction of the vaccine, rabies still remains endemic in Madagascar.