Molecular Characterization of Rabies Virus from Foxes in the Sultanate of Oman
Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Rabies was firstly recorded in Oman in August 1990, when a school boy had been bitten by a fox. Within a year, then the virus was recorded among red foxes (Vulpes vulpes). Unlike other developing countries, dog is not the usual agent of rabies transmission in Oman but fox considered the main reservoir (sylvatic transmission). The present study was Carried out to determine the molecular epidemiology of fox rabies virus in Oman. The nucleoprotein (N) genes were amplified from brain of three rabid
... foxes obtained during (2009)(2010)(2011)(2012). The nucleotide sequences of the genes were subjected to molecular and phylogenic analysis. The phylogenic analysis was performed in relation to Omani foxes isolates and other sequences from the Saudi Arabia (isolated in 1987) available in the GenBank. Results indicated that only one genetic group of fox rabies virus appeared to be circulating in Oman since 1990. The study also showed that the recent isolate (2012) of Omani rabies virus from foxes is closely related (97%) to those viruses isolated from foxes in Saudi Arabia. According to the obtained results, It is clear that since its first diagnosis in 1990 the rabies fox virus has not gone through significant virus variant in Oman, It seems that rabies is maintained endemically in Oman through wild foxes. In conclusion the findings reported here highlight the remarkable genetic stability of rabies virus.