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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 symtpoms[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 GH, Murphy FA, Clark HF et al. (1977). Duvenhage virus: morphological, biochemical, histopathological and antigenic relationships to the rabies serogroup. Journal of General Virology. 37:595–611.
  2. ^ a b Paweska JT, Blumberg LH, Liebenberg C et al. (December 2006). "Fatal human infection with rabies-related Duvenhage virus, South Africa". Emerging Infect. Dis. 12 (12): 1965–7. PMID 17326954.  
  3. ^ van Thiel PP, van den Hoek JAR, Eftimov F et al. (January 2008). "Fatal case of human rabies (Duvenhage virus) from a bot in Kenya: th Netherlands, December 2007". Eurosurveillance. 13 (2): 1–2. PMID 18445390.  


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