This retrospective study examines the geographic and temporal distribution of bat species submitted for rabies testing in South Carolina (USA) from 1970 to 1990. Histories of human or animal exposures to rabid and nonrabid bats submitted during this time period were compared. Two hundred and thirty-one bats were found to be rabid from the 2,657 bats submitted over this 20 yr period. The two species most frequently submitted for testing were Lasiurus borealis with 785 specimens (30% of the total) and Nycticeius humeralis with 607 specimens (22% of the total). Lasiurus borealis also had the highest prevalence of rabies (18%) while N. humeralis had the lowest prevalence (3%). Fifty-one percent (1,259) of the bats received for testing were submitted from June through August. The majority (54%) of rabid bats were received from August through October.
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Vol. 35 • No. 3