European bat lyssavirus type 1 a (EBLV-1 a) was first identified in central France from a serotine bat (Eptesicus serotinus) collected at the end of 2002. Rabies was diagnosed by reference rabies diagnosis methods and molecular tools. Phylogenetic analysis of 14 viral isolates obtained from French bats infected with EBLV-1 between 1989 and the end of 2002 against 47 nucleoprotein sequences showed a north-west to east distribution of EBLV-1a virus and a south to north distribution of EBLV-1b virus, isolates of which could be divided into two groups: group 1 in north-eastern France and group 2 in central and north-western France.
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