Family: Picornaviridae

Genus: Rabovirus


Distinguishing features

The genus is distinguished on the basis of genetic characters. 



No details are available on the morphology of virions. 

Nucleic acid

Genome (Luo et al., 2018, Williams et al., 2018Wu et al., 2018): up to 7,834 nt (5′-UTR: up to 751 nt; ORF: 6,930–7,143 nt; 3′-UTR: 61–91 nt). The location of the cre has not been identified. 

Genome organization and replication

Genome layout:


The deduced polyprotein ranges from 2,310 to 2,381 aa. The L protein has unknown function. The 2A protein has been proposed to be a chymotrypsin-like protease. 


No virus has been isolated. Viral RNA was detected in faeces of Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) and mice (Mus musculus) in USA and Germany, in intestinal contents of Himalayan marmots (Marmota himalayana), and in tissue samples of Gairdner's shrewmice (Mus pahari). 

At least 6 genetic types are distinguished by means of phylogenetic analysis: Rabovirus A (2 types), Rabovirus B (1 type), Rabovirus C (1 type), Rabovirus D (2 types). 

Derivation of names

Rabovirus: from rat-borne

Species demarcation criteria

Members of a species of genus Rabovirus:

  • share a common genome organization
  • are less than 30% divergent in the polyprotein aa sequence
  • are less than 30% divergent in the P1 aa sequence
  • are less than 25% divergent in the 2C + 3CD aa sequence