Duvenhage virus

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Duvenhage virus
Virus classification
Group: Group V ((-)ssRNA)
Order: Mononegavirales
Family: Rhabdoviridae
Genus: Lyssavirus
Species: Duvenhage virus

Duvenhage virus is a member of the lyssavirus genus which also contains rabies virus. The virus was discovered in 1970 when a South African farmer (after whom the virus is named) died of a rabies-like encephalitic illness after being bitten by a bat.[1] In 2006, Duvenhage virus claimed a second victim when a man was scratched by a bat in North West Province, South Africa, 80 km from the 1970 infection.[2] He developed a rabies-like illness 27 days later and died 14 days after the onset of illness. A 34 year old woman who died in Amsterdam on December 8, 2007 was the third recorded fatality. She had been scratched on the nose by a small bat while travelling through Kenya in October 2007 and was admitted to hospital four weeks later with rabies-like symptoms.[3]

Microbats are believed to be the natural reservoir of Duvenhage virus. It has been isolated twice from insectivorous bats, in 1981 from Miniopterus schreibersi and in 1986 from Nycteris thebaica,[2] and is closely related to another bat-associated lyssavirus endemic to Africa, Lagos bat virus.


  1. ^ Tignor G. H.; Murphy, F. A.; Clark, H. F.; Shope, R. E.; Madore, P.; Bauer, S. P.; Buckley, S. M.; Meredith, C. D. (1977). "Duvenhage Virus: Morphological, Biochemical, Histopathological and Antigenic Relationships to the Rabies Serogroup" (PDF). Journal of General Virology 37 (3): 595–611. doi:10.1099/0022-1317-37-3-595. 
  2. ^ a b Paweska, J. T.; Blumberg, L. H.; Liebenberg, C.; Hewlett, R. H.; Grobbelaar, A. A.; Leman, P. A.; Croft, J. E.; Nel, L. H.; Nutt, L.; Swanepoel, R. (December 2006). "Fatal Human Infection with Rabies-Related Duvenhage Virus, South Africa" (PDF). Emerging Infectious Diseases 12 (12): 1965–1967. doi:10.3201/eid1212.060764. PMC 3291369. PMID 17326954. 
  3. ^ van Thiel, P. P.; van den Hoek, J. A.; Eftimov, F.; Tepaske, R.; Zaaijer, H. J.; Spanjaard, L.; de Boer, H. E.; van Doornum G. J.; Schutten M.; Osterhaus, A.; Kager, P. A. (January 2008). "Fatal Case of Human Rabies (Duvenhage Virus) from a Bat in Kenya: The Netherlands, December 2007" (PDF). Eurosurveillance 13 (2): 1–2. PMID 18445390. Article ID 8007.