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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 5491640, 6 pages
Research Article

Indigenous Wildlife Rabies in Taiwan: Ferret Badgers, a Long Term Terrestrial Reservoir

1Department of Health Risk Management, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan
2Department of Geography, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
3Graduate Institute of Microbiology and Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan
4Department of Medical Research, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
5Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
6Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
7Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, USA
8Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Chao-chin Chang; wt.ude.uhcn.nogard@ccgnahc and Yi-Ming A. Chen; wt.ude.umk@ruhtra

Received 25 August 2016; Revised 19 December 2016; Accepted 18 January 2017; Published 12 April 2017

Academic Editor: Jacques Cabaret

Copyright © 2017 Yu-Ching Lan 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.


The emerging disease of rabies was confirmed in Taiwan ferret badgers (FBs) and reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on July 17, 2013. The spread of wildlife rabies can be related to neighborhood countries in Asia. The phylogenetic analysis was conducted by maximum likelihood (ML) methods and the Bayesian coalescent approach based on the glycoprotein (G) and nucleoprotein (N) genes. The phylogeographic and spatial temporal dynamics of viral transmission were determined by using SPREAD, QGIS. Therefore, the origin and the change with time of the viruses can be identified. Results showed the rabies virus of FB strains in Taiwan is a unique clade among other strains in Asia. According to the phylogeographic coalescent tree, three major genotypes of the FB rabies virus have circulated in three different geographical areas in Taiwan. Two genotypes have distributed into central and southern Taiwan between two ecological river barriers. The third genotype has been limited in southeastern Taiwan by the natural mountain barrier. The diversity of FB rabies viruses indicates that the biological profile of FBs could vary in different geographical areas in Taiwan. An enhanced surveillance system needs to be established near the currently identified natural barriers for early warnings of the rabies virus outbreak in Taiwan.