The potential for wild rodents to serve as inapparent rabies reservoirs in nature has not been well evaluated. In this study five species of rodents were inoculated intramuscularly with rabies virus derived from naturally infected wild animals. Inoculated rodents were observed for behavioral changes, and those which died were tested for rabies. Differences in species susceptibility and salivary gland virus tropism were noted and discussed as these factors might affect the epidemiological potential of rabies in wild rodents.
Chief, Rabies Control Unit, Viral Diseases Branch, Epidemiology Program, Center for Disease Control, Health Services and Mental Health Administration, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. P.O. Box 363, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30245.
Chief, Bureau of Laboratories, Florida State Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services Division of Health, P.O. Box 210, Jacksonville, Florida 32201.
Encephalitis Research Center, 4001 Tampa Bay Blvd., Tampa, Florida 33614.