Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) is a recently emerged rhabdovirus of the genus lyssavirus considered endemic in Australian bat populations that causes a neurological disease in people indistinguishable from clinical rabies. There are two distinct variants of ABLV, one that circulates in frugivorous bats (genus Pteropus
) and the other in insectivorous microbats (genus Saccolaimus
). Three fatal human cases of ABLV infection have been reported, the most recent in 2013, and each manifested as acute encephalitis but with variable incubation periods. Importantly, two equine cases also arose recently in 2013, the first occurrence of ABLV in a species other than bats or humans. Similar to other rhabdoviruses, ABLV infects host cells through receptor-mediated endocytosis and subsequent pH-dependent fusion facilitated by its single fusogenic envelope glycoprotein (G). Recent studies have revealed that proposed rabies virus (RABV) receptors are not sufficient to permit ABLV entry into host cells and that the unknown receptor is broadly conserved among mammalian species. However, despite clear tropism differences between ABLV and RABV, the two viruses appear to utilize similar endocytic entry pathways. The recent human and horse infections highlight the importance of continued Australian public health awareness of this emerging pathogen.