We present the frequency and the nature of contact incidents of the Serotine bat, Eptesicus serotinus, with humans and with companion animals (specifically cats and dogs), in The Netherlands between 2000 and 2005. Out of 17 bats in bite contact with humans, five tested positive for European bat lyssavirus (EBLV) type 1a. Cats had the most numerous contacts with bats (49 times) but a relatively low number of these bats were EBLV positive (six times). We estimated that the average incidence of human bat rabies infection might be between once per year and once per 700 years, depending mainly on the number of infectious viral particles in bat saliva. The risk of bat rabies is higher between April and October, and in the northern half of the country. This is the first study in Europe describing the risk of human bat rabies after bat contact incidents.
Takumi, K., Lina, P. H. C., van der Poel, W. H. M., Kramps, J. A., & van der Giessen, J. W. B. (2009). Public health risk analysis of European bat lyssavirus infection in The Netherlands. Epidemiology and Infection, 137, 803-809. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268807000167