Northern Territory bat tests positive for Australian bat lyssavirus

Wednesday, 17 September, 2014

A bat from Katherine, Northern Territory, has tested positive for Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV). The last positive result for NT was in 1997. The story was reported on ABC News. Unfortunately, the report provides no other details about this specific case except to note that no one had been exposed.

ABLV has now killed three people in Australia and caused one asymptomatic infection (Speare et al 2013). In March 2014 ABLV spillover to two horses in southeast Queensland and they both died with encephalitic signs (Shinwari et al 2014). This was a highly significant event since it indicated that people could possibly be infected by ABLV from mammals other than bats.


Shinwari MW, Annand EJ, Driver L, Warrilow D, Harrower B, Allcock RJ, Pukallus D, Harper J, Bingham J, Kung N, Diallo IS. Australian bat lyssavirus infection in two horses. Veterinary Microbiology 2014 Aug 19. [Epub ahead of print]
Speare R, Luly J, Reimers J, Durrheim D, Lunt R. Antibodies to Australian bat lyssavirus in an asymptomatic bat carer. Internal Medicine Journal 2013;43(11):1256–1257.

Posted by Rick Speare