Japanese encephalitis virus in Australia: from known known to known unknown

van den Hurk, Andrew F., Pyke, Alyssa T., Mackenzie, John S., Hall-Mendelin, Sonja, and Ritchie, Scott A. (2019) Japanese encephalitis virus in Australia: from known known to known unknown. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 4 (1). 38.

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Abstract

Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a major cause of neurological disease in Asia. It is a zoonotic flavivirus transmitted between water birds and/or pigs by Culex mosquitoes; humans are dead-end hosts. In 1995, JEV emerged for the first time in northern Australia causing an unprecedented outbreak in the Torres Strait. In this article, we revisit the history of JEV in Australia and describe investigations of JEV transmission cycles in the Australian context. Public health responses to the incipient outbreak included vaccination and sentinel pig surveillance programs. Virus isolation and vector competence experiments incriminated Culex annulirostris as the likely regional vector. The role this species plays in transmission cycles depends on the availability of domestic pigs as a blood source. Experimental evidence suggests that native animals are relatively poor amplifying hosts of JEV. The persistence and predominantly annual virus activity between 1995 and 2005 suggested that JEV had become endemic in the Torres Strait. However, active surveillance was discontinued at the end of 2005, so the status of JEV in northern Australia is unknown. Novel mosquito-based surveillance systems provide a means to investigate whether JEV still occurs in the Torres Strait or is no longer a risk to Australia.

Item ID: 61874
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2414-6366
Keywords: Australia, Japanese encephalitis virus, Mosquito, Transmission, Zoonosis
Copyright Information: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 19 May 2020 04:44
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1108 Medical Microbiology > 110804 Medical Virology @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 100%
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