Rabies virus (Rabies lyssavirus) is a neurotropic virus that causes inflammation of the brain (rabies) and is one of the deadliest diseases affecting both wild and domestic animals. It is spread when an infected animal bites or scratches a human or other animals. The disease progresses in stages and once clinical symptoms appear, it is nearly 100% fatal with the final stage resulting in death from progressive paralysis. Rabies is vaccine-preventable and in animals, rabies is diagnosed using the direct fluorescent antibody (DFA) test, which looks for the presence of rabies virus antigens in the brain tissue of a deceased animal. At present, there are no tests available that are able to diagnose infection with rabies immediately after suspected exposure to the virus.
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