Scientific name: Rabies Virus


Rabies is a member of the Rhabdoviridae family because it is a virus with a non segmented, negative-stranded RNA genome.

Diseases Caused

As a result of rabies, a mammal can receive a disease called encephalopathy. Rabies comes in two different ways: furious and paralytic. The furious type causes the species to act out of character, for example, a bat flying in the day time. The paralytic, or dumb, type paralyzes part or all of the animal.

Proteins and Nucleic Acids

Rabies is an RNA virus. The genome encodes 5 proteins: nucleoprotein, phosphoprotein, matrix protein, glycoprotein, and polymerase. The ribonucleoprotein inside the virus is composed of RNA encased in nucleoprotein, phosphorylated or phosphoprotein.

Diagram of the structure of the rabies virus

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Organism and body systems infected

Rabies can infect all warm blooded animal but the most common are dogs, cats, ferrets, humans, bats, and monkeys. When the virus attacks, the animal's nervous system is affected through the brain and spinal cord. From the point the rabies enters (usually a bite), the rabies virus travels along nerves to the spinal cord, then the brain where it multiplies. From there, it travels along other nerves to the salivary glands into saliva.
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Mode of infection

Rabies is spread through saliva usually entering through a bite but can also infect a new host by the saliva entering through the eyes, nose, or mouth. The virus attaches to the host cell membrane via the G protein, penetrates the cytoplasm by fusion or pinocytosis, and is uncoated to RNP. The core initiates primary transcription of the five complementary monocistronic messenger RNAs by using the virion-associated RNA dependent RNA polymerase. Each RNA is then translated into an individual viral protein. After viral proteins have been synthesized, replication of the genomic RNA continues with the synthesis of full length, positive-stranded RNA, which acts as a template for the production of progeny negative-stranded RNA.
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Symptoms of Infection

Once infected by the rabies virus one could experience weakness, fever, headache, anxiety, confusion, agitation, itching at site of bite, and hallucination. The nervous system malfunctions because the virus inflames the brain and spinal cord resulting in the listed symptoms.

Cure and Prevention

Rabies is often a fatal disease. By the time symptoms are apparent, it is generally too late to save the patient. However, there are some steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of even catching the virus. There is a rabies vaccination that can be received and is often given to pets. It is also wise to maintain close watch over pets, reduce their exposure to wildlife, and spray or neuter in order to reduce the number of stray animals. By following any of the above procedures, one can help prevent obtaining the rabies virus.

MLA Citation (When attached, not double spaces, or in times new Roman)

Ranch, John S. "Diagnosis in Humans and Animals." Rabies. Spencer L. Perry, 09 July 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015. <www.cdc.gov/rabies/diagnosis/animals-humans.html>.

Hess, Mac. “The Facts of Rabies.” Rabies. Ashley Mitch, 11 January 2016.

Web. 20 Mar. 2015.

Weaver, Jared M. “What is Rabies” Disease Christa B. Kroll, 08 December 2015.

Web. 20 Mar. 2015.