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Rabies resistance arises in backwater thick with vampire bats

Residents of two Peruvian communities appear to have survived infection

By
6:02pm, August 1, 2012

Some people living in a vampire bat–ridden part of the Peruvian Amazon seem to have developed natural resistance to the rabies virus.

“Why these individuals don’t die is very intriguing,” says CDC disease ecologist Amy Gilbert, who led a study by researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Peruvian Ministry of Health.

The detection of anti-rabies antibodies in the blood of 14 percent of healthy individuals tested in two communities suggests that people had been exposed to the virus and survived, the researchers write in the August American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All of those positive for

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