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Identification of the virus of rabbit haemorrhagic disease in Tunisia
  1. A. Bouslama, DVM1,
  2. G. M. De Mia, DVM2,
  3. S. Hammami, DVM, PhD1,
  4. T. Aouina1,
  5. H. Soussi, DVM1 and
  6. T. Frescura, DVM2
  1. 1 Institut de la Recherche Veterinaire de Tunisie, rue Djebel Lakhdhar, La Rabta 1006 Tunis, Tunisia
  2. 2 Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Umbria e delle Marche, via Salvemini 1, 06126 Perugia, Italy


During 1992 and 1993, outbreaks of an acute, highly fatal disease mainly affecting adult rabbits were observed in Tunisia. The clinical and pathological findings were consistent with rabbit haemorrhagic disease. A monoclonal antibody designated PG4G3 specific for surface determinants of the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus was used to identify the aetiological agent by ELISA and by colloidal gold immunoelectron microscopy; a haemagglutination test and conventional immunoelectron microscopy were also used. The results confirmed the first recorded cases of the disease in Tunisia.

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