Rhabdovirus Family

The rhabdovirus family is represented by the rabies virus. The disease—rabies—is acquired by contamination with saliva from the bites of infected animals, commonly dogs, cats, raccoons, or bats. The viruses reach the nervous tissue along the axons of the peripheral nerves. A few cases of infection through the respiratory route and corneal transplant have been recorded. Following an incubation period ranging from several days to several months, the viruses evoke an acute, rapidly progressing fatal encephalomyelitis and radicu-loganglionitis. Eosinophilic viral inclusions (Negri bodies) in the cytoplasm of the pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus and Purkinje cells of the cerebellum are characteristic.

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