(Science: organism, virology) species of the rhabdoviridae that causes rabies in humans. The virus infects the cells in the brain, causing a fatal encephalomyelitis. It is found all over the world, but strict quarantine regulations have excluded it from Britain and australia. The virus infects a number of domestic and wild mammals, whose saliva is infective. Some bats and small mammals can carry the virus without showing any symptoms of disease.