Navigation Links
Untreated Rabies May Not Be Lethal for All, Study Says
Date:8/1/2012

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Bucking the notion that untreated rabies always proves lethal to humans, scientists studying the virus in isolated pockets of the world have found evidence that either natural resistance or an immune response may stave off certain death for some.

Traveling to the Peruvian Amazon, where outbreaks of rabies infections are spurred by highly common vampire bats, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention learned that 10 percent of natives appeared to have survived exposure to the virus without any medical intervention. Another 11 percent were found to have antibodies in their blood that would neutralize rabies.

"This is a potential game-changer if the study is repeated successfully," said Dr. Rodney Willoughby Jr., a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and the author of an editorial accompanying the research. "It suggests either that rabies is not universally severe or fatal [HIV used to be thought of this way] or that there are ways of conferring relative resistance to rabies in humans. If the latter could be identified -- these days, probably through genetic sequencing -- then that might afford insights into prevention or treatment."

The study is published Aug. 1 in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

An average of two to four people die in the United States each year of rabies after bites from animals such as bats, dogs or raccoons. Though nearly wiped out in the United States due to domestic animal vaccinations, the infection kills about 55,000 annually in Africa and Asia alone. For those who believe they're infected, a series of shots are 100 percent effective at preventing death.

In Peru, vampire bats regularly seek out meals of mammalian blood from livestock and humans, using extremely sharp teeth and a blood thinner in their saliva aptly known as draculin to feed on sleeping people without awakening them.

CDC researchers interviewed 92 people, 50 of whom reported previous bat bites. Blood samples were taken from 63 participants, with seven found to have rabies virus-neutralizing antibodies. Only one of the seven reported receiving a rabies vaccination, which would generate such antibodies, but no evidence existed that the rest had sought either a vaccination or treatment for a bat bite.

Study author Amy Gilbert, a postdoctoral fellow with the CDC's National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, said the research suggests the rabies virus is not invariably fatal to people.

"Generally, most folks presume we don't develop antibodies to respond to rabies exposures," she said, "but this was a scenario where clearly there were exposures to the virus that did not lead to disease. I think the same recommendations and advice still hold -- that anyone with a bite exposure to a bat or other carnivore needs to seek out post-exposure [injections]."

In his editorial, Willoughby noted two recent cases in the United States (in Texas and California) where children recovered from rabies without intensive treatment after suspected bat bites.

"Knowing that there is a continuum of disease, even for infectious diseases like rabies, should push us harder to try for cures when confronted by so-called untreatable infectious diseases," he wrote. "Modern therapeutics can move us . . . toward greater survival, even when specific cures or antidotes remain undiscovered."

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers more on rabies.

SOURCES: Amy Gilbert, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Rodney Willoughby Jr., M.D., pediatric infectious disease specialist, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Aug. 1, 2012, American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Untreated Heartburn May Raise Risk for Esophageal Cancer, Study Says
2. High Rates of Untreated Kidney Failure Seen in Elderly
3. Many poor pregnant women with HIV go untreated for depression
4. 1 in 5 Americans Has Untreated Cavities: CDC
5. Passengers on Bat Plane Cleared of Rabies Risk
6. On-the-Job Injuries Can Be Lethal to U.S. Teens
7. Study identifies potential treatment for lethal childhood leukemia
8. High Blood Pressure May Be Especially Lethal for Blacks
9. Wider Waistlines Put Damper on Mens Sex Lives: Study
10. Workers With Paid Sick Days Healthier, More Productive: Study
11. UT Southwestern study suggests new treatment target for deadly brain tumors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Untreated Rabies May Not Be Lethal for All, Study Says
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought ... gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event ... audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing a segment ... of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on PBS Member ... with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of ... Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his ... veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and ... plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway ... store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will present the 2017 Morris F. ... AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual Symposium is taking place ... the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is presented to an individual whose ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/4/2017)... Oct. 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development ... aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the ... arrests with better efficiency compared to the dated and ... feedback on efficacy of the compression for a more ... a goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the combined central specialty ... pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime), today officially ... the unveiling of new signage at its headquarters in ... at a few other company-owned facilities across the country. ... some of whom will begin to see the AllianceRx ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... , Sept. 27, 2017  Commended for their devotion to ... awards. Ranked as number one in the South Florida Business ... in Inc. 5000 yearly list, the national specialty pharmacy has ... Armando Bardisa will soon be honored by SFBJ as ... Set to receive his award in October, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: