Phylogeography of rabies virus isolated from herbivores and bats in the Espirito Santo State, Brazil
Rabies is enzootic in the State of Espírito Santo, Brazil. Every year, cattle and horses die from rabies that is transmitted by the vampire bat Desmodus rotundus. This paper describes the spread of the rabies virus by the continuous diffusion model using relaxed random walks with BEAST software. Forty-one (41) sequences of gene G from the rabies virus that was isolated from bats and domestic herbivores from several areas of the state between 2006 and 2010 were analyzed. The phylogenetic tree showed three main clusters as well as two sub-clusters under cluster 2. A spatial analysis showed that three strains of the rabies virus spread independently. In general, central Espírito Santo, which is mountainous, was the area where separation of the virus strains occurred. This physical barrier, however, was overcome at some point in time, as samples from different lineages were found in the same microarea.
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