E-ISSN 2223-0343

Abattoir based study of rabies virus in brain tissues of slaughtered animals using conventional diagnostic techniques

Waqas Ahmad1, 2, Fazal Mahmood1, Yingying Li2, Ming Duan2, Maolin Zhang*2, Zengshan Liu*2, Zhenhong Guan2 and Muhammad Amjad Ali3

1Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan; 2Key Laboratory of Zoonosis, Ministry of Education, Institute of Zoonosis, Jilin University, 5333 Xian Road, Changchun 130062, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, BahauddinZakariya University, Multan, Pakistan


Rabies is considered a deadly zoonotic disease that still has been causing huge fatalities in all over the world. The objective of the present study was to investigate the histopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular diagnosis of rabies in randomly selected ruminant’s brain tissue samples, slaughtered at eight abattoirs of Faisalabad, Pakistan. A total number of 192 brain samples of sheep (n1=48), goats (n2=48), cows (n3=48) and buffaloes (n4=48) were procured and, immersed in 10% neutral buffer formalin for fixation purpose. Most of the samples were quite healthy and their percentage distribution of variable pathological lesions (neuronal necrosis, perivascular cuffing and vascular congestion) in all brain samples was noted, but found negative for rabies virus infection. However, one sample of goat and buffalo were diagnosed positive for rabies virus by exhibiting characteristic pathological lesions such as babe’s nodule, cavernous lesions, perivascular cuffing, satellitosis and degenerative changes in various sections of the brain. Similarly, immunohistochemistry showed intense characteristic antigen-antibody reaction by producing viral masses in cerebrum and cerebellum of the brain. Reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) further confirmed the findings by generating nucleic acid band against a standard DNA ladder. This study was the second insight into rabies cases scattered among domestic animals of Faisalabad. Proper awareness, reliable prophylactic measures and diagnostic methods must be established to stop the concurrent spread of the rabies virus in humans and animals.

Keywords: brain sample; rabies virus; histopathology; immunohistochemistry
To cite this article: Ahmad W, F Mahmood, Y Li, M Duan, M Zhang, Z Liu, Z Guan and MA Ali, 2015. Abattoir based study of rabies virus in brain tissues of slaughtered animals using conventional diagnostic techniques. Res. Opin. Anim. Vet. Sci., 5(12): 476-482.

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