Bites from Vampire Bats Might Protect People against Rabies: Scientific American | Viruses and Bioinformatics from |

Several native individuals in the Peruvian Amazon appear to have developed natural antibodies to the rabies virus.

Rabies, the disease that drives infected victims wild, is almost always fatal once it reaches the brain. A new finding from two remote communities in the Peruvian Amazon may reveal a chink in the virus's armor. Scientists have tested six native people there who have never received a vaccination yet appear to have developed natural antibodies to the virus. The researchers think that vampire bats, common in the region, bit the sleeping humans and passed along small amounts of the virus over time. The multiple, low-dose exposures gave each person’s immune system a chance to learn how to fight back.


Not the first time this has been suggested, but in a different context: it may also be true for sex workers repeatedly exposed to HIV, although the jury is still out on that one.