Ninety-seven yellow mongooses were captured in six different localities in South Africa and blood specimens
for rabies antibody determination as well as brain and salivary glands for virus isolation were
collected. No rabies virus or antibody to it was detected in any of the specimens.
Parallel to the field study, two experimental infections were undertaken in which yellow mongooses were
artificially infected with serial dilutions of two different rabies isolates (one from a dog and the other
of mongoose origin) in order to determine the minimal lethal dose (MLD₅₀), clinical signs, duration of
illness, course of the disease, presence of virus in the saliva and salivary glands and development of
antibodies to rabies virus.
A significantly higher proportion of mongooses inoculated with mongoose virus died than did those inoculated
with the dog isolate. However, the clinical signs, incubation period, duration of illness and development
of antibodies were independent of the dose of the inoculum. The levels of rabies virus in the saliva
and salivary glands were high in all clinically affected animals infected with the mongoose isolate but
only one of the two mongooses which died following inoculation of the dog isolate contained detectable
levels of virus in the salivary glands. Antibodies to rabies were detected only in the terminal stages of
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Willemse, Esau(University of Pretoria, 2012-05-15)
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