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Phylogeography of rabies virus isolated from cattle and horses transmitted by haematophagous bat Desmodus rotundus in the State of São Paulo


Rabies is Public Health problem and is very important in Animal Health too. The illness demands continuous prophylactic care for herbivores with economic interest, such as cattle and horses. The main vector of rabies virus (RABV) for these animals are the hematophagous bats Desmodus rotundus. RABV is a RNA genome with low level of fidelity during replication cycle due to lack of repair of its polymerase. This causes the incorporation of mutations that increase the genotypic variation of the viral population. In the project, the nucleoprotein (N) gene of the RABV isolated mainly from cattle in different cities of State of São Paulo (SP), will be sequenced. In addition, genetic sequences deposited in GenBank will be also used. N is the most conserved gene of RABV for these reason is the most appropriated for phylogeographic studies. Because the RABV display evolutionary and ecological dynamics on the same time scale reliable phylogeographic inferences can be obtained from molecular data. As phylogeography expresses the contemporary pattern of geographic distribution of an organism according to gene genealogies the objective of this project is to determine the dispersion over time and space of the RABV transmitted by D. rotundus in SP. The phylogeography of RABV will be studied by phylogenetic analysis using Bayesian statistics using Monte Carlo methods via Markov Chains (MCMC), available on the Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis Sampling Trees (BEAST) plataform. In this way and after the test of different evolutionary models the data of the phylogenetic trees of substitution and more probable time will be converted into a KML file that allows the visualization of the spatial projection of the diffusion of the genetic lineages in the time and space using Google Earth. In this way, the final results can aid epidemiological surveillance and also strategic planning for the control of rabies. (AU)

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