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BEPA. Boletim Epidemiológico Paulista (Online)

On-line version ISSN 1806-4272

BEPA, Bol. epidemiol. paul. (Online) vol.6 no.68 São Paulo Aug. 2009




Genetic characterization of the rabies virus isolated from bovines during the period from 1999-2001 in an epizootic area in the State of São Paulo



Pedro Carnieli Jr; Nazle Mendonça Collaço Véras; Willian de Oliveira Fahl; Juliana Galera Castilho; Maria do Carmo Sampaio Tavares Timenetsky

Instituto Pasteur. São Paulo, SP, 2008 [Tese de Doutorado – Área de concentração: Pesquisas Laboratoriais em Saúde Pública – Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências. Coordenadoria de Controle de Doenças. Secretaria de Estado da Saúde de São Paulo]




In order to render efficiency to rabies control, it is necessary to know the lineages of the rabies virus (RABV) in the different geographic regions and to associate them to the vectors found in the same area. The association of nucleotide sequences (nt) or amino-acids (aa) deduced from the nt sequences renders possible to determinate the origin of a viral variant and its dynamic in the ecosystem. This paper analyzed 149 sequences of the N and G genes of the RABV isolated from bovines, regularly transmitted by the hematophagous bat Desmodus rotundus. The N gene contains 1.350 nt and the protein N contains 450 aa, the gene G contains 1.572 nt and the glycoprotein G, 524 aa. Samples of RABV were isolated in three epizootic areas of the State of São Paulo, during the period comprised from 1997 to 2002. These three areas are designated as Area I (Paraiba Valley), Area II (the region of Campinas) and Area III (the region of São João da Boa Vista). The apex of these epizooties occurred during the years of 199701999, 1998-2000 and 2000-2002, in the Areas I, II and III respectively. The main objective of this paper is to associate the three epizootic areas in order to determinate the relationship between them, as well as genetically characterize the sequences generated from the RABV samples. Sequences from the genes N and G were separately aligned, with reference sequences, employing the Clustal W program, and manually edited in BioEdit. The construction of phylogenetic trees was performed by the Neighbor-Joining method and the statistic trust of the trees was evaluated by the bootstrap method. Phylogenetic trees N and G were divided in two major clades, one grouping the samples from Area I and the other grouping samples from Areas II and III, showing that the epizooty of Area I is not related to Areas II and III. Even more, since the epizooty registered in Area III occurred after the one occurring in Area II, it is possible to conclude that the first is a consequence of the second. It is interesting to note that, regardless of the nt differences in the sequences from areas I, II and III, the aa difference was small, showing there is no positive selection. Such aspect must be related to the way by which the infected vectors (D. rotundus) dislocate in the geographic space. Some genetic signatures related to polymorphic areas of genes N and G were found in the sequences of Area I, as well as some in common with the Areas II and III.



Correspondence to:
Pedro Carnieli Jr.
Av. Paulista, 393
CEP: 01311-001– São Paulo/SP – Brasil



Financial Support: Disease Control Coordination of the State Secretary of Health of São Paulo