• Rabies Virus In Arctic Fox (Vulpes Lagopus): A Study Of Pantropic Distribution

      Gildehaus, Lori A.; Runstadler, Jonathan (2010)
      Rabies is endemic in Arctic foxes, in Alaska and other Arctic regions and cold temperatures may preserve the virus in Arctic climates in infected animal carcasses. These frozen carcasses may provide a source of infection throughout winters and thereby propagate the rabies virus within animal populations in the Arctic. It was hypothesized that rabies virus antigen is present in the soft tissues of naturally infected Arctic foxes, Vulpes lagopus. Using a direct rapid immunohistochemistry test (DRIT) and a fluorescent antibody test (FAT), thirteen organ tissues from twelve naturally infected and three experimentally infected Arctic foxes were tested. All tissues, except testes, tested positive for rabies virus antigen by the DRIT, the FAT, or both in at least one fox. Although the DRIT detected rabies virus antigen in non-neuronal tissues, it did not detect antigen in as many non-neuronal tissues as the FAT. Spleen and stomach tissues had the highest rate of rabies virus detection by the FAT and using a combination of non-neuronal tissues would be the best substitute for brain if brain were unavailable.