We report the results of evolutionary history estimation of the lyssaviruses based on an analysis of the Glycoprotein (G) sequences gene using the BEAST software package. The most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of all the lyssavirus strains was estimated to be approximately 5030 years (95% HPD 3988-6069 years), and there was a significant spread of the rabies virus throughout the world range in the last 200 years, consistent with significant time points in development and migration of human civilizations. We speculate that increased and expansion of human migration during this time period may have promote the increase in lyssavirus diversity. In addition, evidence of host switching in lyssavirus history from the Chiroptera to the Carnivora orders was also identified.
Accepted: 22 Apr 2013
Published online: 3 Jun 2013