JOURNAL ARTICLE

Molecular epidemiology of reemergent rabies in Yunnan Province, southwestern China

Hai-Lin Zhang, Yu-Zhen Zhang, Wei-Hong Yang, Xiao-Yan Tao, Hao Li, Ji-Chao Ding, Yun Feng, Du-Juan Yang, Juan Zhang, Jiang He, Xin-Xin Shen, Li-Hua Wang, Yun-Zhi Zhang, Miao Song, Qing Tang
Emerging Infectious Diseases 2014, 20 (9): 1433-42
25144604
Yunnan Province in China borders 3 countries (Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar) in Southeast Asia. In the 1980s, a large-scale rabies epidemic occurred in this province, which subsided by the late 1990s. However, 3 human cases of rabies in 2000 indicated reemergence of the disease in 1 county. In 2012, rabies was detected in 77 counties; 663 persons died of rabies during this new epidemic. Fifty two rabies virus strains obtained during 2008-2012 were identified and analyzed phylogenetically by sequencing the nucleoprotein gene. Of the 4 clades identified, clades YN-A and YN-C were closely related to strains from neighboring provinces, and clade YN-B was closely related to strains from Southeast Asia, but formed a distinct branch. Rabies virus diversity might be attributed to dog movements among counties, provinces, and neighboring countries. These findings suggest that Yunnan Province is a focal point for spread of rabies between Southeast Asia and China.

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