Tuesday, 21 May 2013

All Australian bat species, including 1 of the 50 species of microbats (order Chiroptera [bats], suborder Microchiroptera) common in Australia, are considered susceptible to ABLV.

Chief Biosecurity Queensland officer Dr Thompson noted that a dead bat had been found on the property housing the Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV) infected horse, but were not closely associated with any colonies.

All 6 human contacts of the horse have been given preventative treatment including rabies vaccine and rabies immunoglobulin, both of which cross-protect against serious disease caused by ABLV.

The main advice for humans to mitigate risk of infection is to avoid handling bats and flying foxes without appropriate vaccination. Even then, it would be best to report ill or strangely behaving (ill) bats to the authorities. Bats have been the source of a number of virus discoveries (not preventable by specific vaccines) in recent years including influenza virus (H17N10)and coronaviruses (numerous bat-CoVs and possible the MERS-CoV).