Kia et al. 2018a

Sokoto Journal of Veterinary Sciences, Volume 16 (Number 2). June, 2018


Molecular characterization of a rabies virus isolated from trade dogs in Plateau State, Nigeria

GSN Kia1,2,3, Y Huang1, M Zhou1, Z Zhou1, CW Gnanadurai1, CM Leysona1, JU Umoh2, HM Kazeem4, DO Ehizibolo5, JKP Kwaga2,3, CI Nwosu5 & ZF Fu1*


1.                  Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia Athens, GA 30602, USA

2.                  Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria

3.                  African Centre of Excellence in Neglected Tropical Diseases and Forensic Biotechnology, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria

4.                  Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria

5.                  National Veterinary Research Institute Vom, Jos Plateau State, Nigeria




To have a better understanding of the prevalence ofrabies virus (RABV) in the dog trading markets in Plateau State of Nigeria, a total of 532 brain samples collected between 2010 and 2011 were subjected to rabies virus antigen detection and molecular characterization. RABV antigen was detected in 92 out of 532 (17.3%) brain samples from two major commercial dog markets in Plateau State of Nigeria by direct fluorescence antibody assay, indicating the possibility of a high prevalence of RABV in the dog trading markets. The complete genomic sequence was obtained from one of these RABV positive samples. The overall organization of this virus (DRV-NG11) was typical of all the other wild-type RABV. Phylogenetic analysis using either the complete or partial genomic sequence of DRV-NG11 demonstrates that this isolate is most closely related to viruses previously shown to circulate in Nigeria, belonging to the Africa 2 Clade. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the molecular characterization of the complete genome of RABV from trade dogs, which provides a better understanding of the molecular epidemiology, pathogenesis and rabies control in this country.


Keywords: Genome, Nigeria, Rabies virus, Street strain, Trade dogs


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