Rabies is caused by rabies virus. Rabies virus is a rhabdovirus family member. Rabies may lead to viral zoonotic infection. The natural reservoir of rabies may include bat, foxes, dogs, skunks or coyotes.
The RNA of rabies virus may be detected with PCR of the saliva.Rabies may also be diagnosed based on the immunochemical detection of the viral antigen which present on the brain tissue at autopsy, the cytological detection of cytoplasmic inclusion bodies ( Negri bodies) in the neurons and immunocytochemistry biopsy of the skin or scraping of the cornea.
Rabies virus will be transmitted via bite of a rabid animal from the infectious saliva, or from recipient of organ transplants from the rabies infected donor. Any aerosol / droplets contact with mucous membrane may also lead to rabies.
Rabies virus will multiply at the sites of bites. Rabies virus will attach to the acetylcholine receptor and infect the sensory neurons. Rabies virus will later enter the central nervous system and replicates in the gray matter. The virus then enter the peripheral nerves to the skin and salivary gland.
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