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1.  Comparison of Performance of Serum and Plasma in Panbio Dengue and Japanese Encephalitis Virus Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays 
We examined the comparative performance of serum and plasma (in dipotassium EDTA) in Panbio Dengue enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for detection of non-structural protein 1 (NS1), IgM, and IgG, and a dengue/Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) combination IgM ELISA in a prospective series of 201 patients with suspected dengue in Laos. Paired comparisons of medians from serum and plasma samples were not significantly different for Dengue IgM, and NS1 which had the highest number of discordant pairs (both 2%; P = 0.13 and P = 0.25, respectively). Comparison of qualitative final diagnostic interpretations for serum and plasma samples were not significantly different: only 1.5% (3 of 201 for Dengue/JEV IgM and Dengue IgG) and 2.0% (4 of 201; IgM and NS1) showed discordant pairs. These results demonstrate that plasma containing EDTA is suitable for use in these ELISAs.
PMCID: PMC3435366  PMID: 22826488
2.  Antibody Capture Immunoassay Detection of Japanese Encephalitis Virus Immunoglobulin M and G Antibodies in Cerebrospinal Fluid 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1982;16(6):1034-1042.
Immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibodies to Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) were detected in acute-phase cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens from patients with acute encephalitis by using a solid-phase radioimmunoassay of the antibody capture type. Of 12 patients with JEV infections subsequently proven by hemagglutination inhibition serology, 11 had JEV IgM antibodies, as measured by antibody capture radioimmunoassay, in the first CSF specimen (geometric mean titer, 1:2,500) compared with 0 of 8 patients with acute encephalitis proven not to be due to JEV. Specific IgM anti-JEV activity (units per microgram) was greater in CSF than in parallel serum specimens in all 11 positive cases by more than fourfold on the average (range, 1.4 to 13). Among seven patients with broadly reactive hemagglutination inhibition seroresponses typical of persons previously exposed to other flaviviruses, six had high levels of JEV IgG antibodies (as measured by antibody capture radioimmunoassay) in their acute-phase CSF (geometric mean titer, 1:26,000), whereas in five patients experiencing their first flavivirus infection, JEV IgG antibodies measured by antibody capture radio-immunoassay were either absent (one patient) or weakly reactive (four patients; geometric mean titer, 1:3,200). Specific IgG anti-JEV activity was greater in CSF than in parallel serum specimens in eight of the nine positive cases measured (range, 1.3- to 24-fold). The antibody capture solid-phase immunoassay approach is well suited for detecting specific antibody activity in CSF.
PMCID: PMC272535  PMID: 7161371
3.  Rapid Diagnosis of Japanese Encephalitis by Using an Immunoglobulin M Dot Enzyme Immunoassay 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1998;36(7):2030-2034.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) occurs in rural settings in southern and eastern Asia, where diagnostic facilities are limited. For the diagnosis of JE virus (JEV) infection, we developed a nitrocellulose membrane-based immunoglobulin M (IgM) capture dot enzyme immunoassay (MAC DOT) that is rapid, simple to use, requires no specialized equipment, and can distinguish JEV from dengue infection. In a prospective field study in southern Vietnam, 155 cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and 341 serum samples were collected from 111 children and 83 adults with suspected encephalitis. The JEV MAC DOT, performed on site, was scored visually from negative to strongly positive by two observers, and the results were compared subsequently with those of the standard IgM capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. For the 179 patients with adequate specimens, the MAC DOT correctly identified 59 of 60 JEV-positive patients and 118 of 119 JEV-negative patients (sensitivity [95% confidence intervals], 98.3% [92.1 to 99.9%]; specificity, 99.2% [95.9 to 100.0%]; positive predictive value, 0.98; negative predictive value, 0.99). The MAC DOT also correctly identified three patients with dengue encephalopathy. Admission specimens were positive for 73% of JE patients. Interobserver agreement for MAC DOT diagnosis was excellent (kappa = 0.94). The JEV MAC DOT is a simple and reliable rapid diagnostic test for JE in rural hospitals.
PMCID: PMC104972  PMID: 9650956
4.  Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) National Network Laboratory for Japanese Encephalitis 
Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus is the leading cause of viral neurologic disease and disability in Asia. In the present study JE virus-specific IgM in serum and CSF from acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) patients, attending Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMC and H), Dibrugarh, Assam from 2007 to 2009 were detected and different epidemiological parameters namely age, season and vaccination campaign were enumerated.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional study on patients with AES admitted in AMC and H, Dibrugarh, Assam was done during 2007 to 2009. The different epidemiological features were characterized depending on a pretested structured questionnaire called the clinical information form (CIF). Serum and CSF obtained were tested by a Panbio JE-Dengue IgM Combo ELISA kit and JEV Chex kit (Xycton).
Statistical Analysis:
A z-test was used for the statistical analytic assessment.
Detection rate of JE was 39.4%, 51.1%, and 51.3% in the years 2007, 2008, and 2009 respectively. Cases of JE increased in the age group more than 15 years in the district where the vaccination program was undertaken. This increase of cases from pediatric to adults is also statistically significant by the z-test (P<0.05).
There was an increase in AES cases and also JE cases from 2007 to 2009. JE also showed a seasonal variation with maximum cases in the months of July and August. Although vaccination campaigns with the live attenuated vaccine SA-14-14-2 have started and are protecting the under-15 children, there is a shift of disease pattern in the older population.
PMCID: PMC3703214  PMID: 23853435
Epidemiological parameters; Japanese encephalitis; Vaccination
5.  Complete Genome of a Genotype I Japanese Encephalitis Virus Isolated from a Patient with Encephalitis in Vientiane, Lao PDR 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(1):e00157-12.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) (Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) is an arthropod-borne flavivirus transmitted by Culex species mosquitoes. We report here the complete genome of the JEV genotype I strain JEV_CNS769_Laos_2009 isolated from an infected patient in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) (Laos).
PMCID: PMC3587933  PMID: 23469339
6.  Aetiologies of Central Nervous System infections in adults in Kathmandu, Nepal: A prospective hospital-based study 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2382.
We conducted a prospective hospital based study from February 2009-April 2011 to identify the possible pathogens of central nervous system (CNS) infections in adults admitted to a tertiary referral hospital (Patan Hospital) in Kathmandu, Nepal. The pathogens of CNS infections were confirmed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) using molecular diagnostics, culture (bacteria) and serology. 87 patients were recruited for the study and the etiological diagnosis was established in 38% (n = 33). The bacterial pathogens identified were Neisseria meningitidis (n = 6); Streptococcus pneumoniae (n = 5) and Staphylococcus aureus (n = 2) in 13/87(14%). Enteroviruses were found in 12/87 (13%); Herpes Simplex virus (HSV) in 2/87(2%). IgM against Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) was detected in the CSF of 11/73 (15%) tested samples. This is the first prospective molecular and serology based CSF analysis in adults with CNS infections in Kathmandu, Nepal. JEV and enteroviruses were the most commonly detected pathogens in this setting.
PMCID: PMC3737500  PMID: 23924886
7.  Hospital-Based Surveillance for Japanese Encephalitis at Four Sites in Bangladesh, 2003–2005 
We investigated the epidemiology and etiology of encephalitis at four tertiary hospitals in Bangladesh during 2003–2005. Patients who met a clinical case definition for acute encephalitis and had cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis were eligible for enrollment; a standardized sampling pattern was used to enroll eligible patients. Recent Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection was defined by presence of IgM antibodies against JEV in CSF or serum. Twenty (4%) of 492 cases had laboratory evidence of recent JEV infection; two died. All JE cases occurred during May–December, and cases were identified among all age groups. All cases resided in rural areas. Fifteen patients were re-assessed 4–6 weeks after hospitalization; 5 (33%) patients had physical disabilities and 7 (47%) reported cognitive difficulties. Infection with JEV is clearly an etiology of encephalitis in Bangladesh. Population-based studies to quantify burden of disease could assess options for targeted immunization programs.
PMCID: PMC2813179  PMID: 20134015
8.  Predictive diagnostic value of the tourniquet test for the diagnosis of dengue infection in adults 
To examine the accuracy of the admission tourniquet test in the diagnosis of dengue infection among Lao adults.
Prospective assessment of the predictive diagnostic value of the tourniquet test for the diagnosis of dengue infection, as defined by IgM, IgG and NS1 ELISAs (Panbio Ltd, Australia), among Lao adult inpatients with clinically suspected dengue infection.
Of 234 patients with clinically suspected dengue infection on admission, 73% were serologically confirmed to have dengue, while 64 patients with negative dengue serology were diagnosed as having scrub typhus (39%), murine typhus (11%), undetermined typhus (12%), Japanese encephalitis virus (5%), undetermined flavivirus (5%) and typhoid fever (3%); 25% had no identifiable aetiology. The tourniquet test was positive in 29.1% (95% CI = 23.2–34.9%) of all patients and in 34.1% (95% CI = 27.0–41.2%) of dengue-seropositive patients, in 32.7% (95% CI = 23.5–41.8) of those with dengue fever and in 36.4% (95% CI = 24.7–48.0) of those with dengue haemorrhagic fever. Interobserver agreement for the tourniquet test was 90.2% (95% CI = 86.4–94.0) (Kappa = 0.76). Using ELISAs as the diagnostic gold standard, the sensitivity of the tourniquet test was 33.5–34%; its specificity was 84–91%. The positive and negative predictive values were 85–90% and 32.5–34%, respectively.
The admission tourniquet test has low sensitivity and adds relatively little value to the diagnosis of dengue among Lao adult inpatients with suspected dengue. Although a positive tourniquet test suggests dengue and that treatment of alternative diagnoses may not be needed, a negative test result does not exclude dengue.
PMCID: PMC3073123  PMID: 20958892
dengue; tourniquet test; diagnosis; adult; Laos
9.  Envelope protein gene based molecular characterization of Japanese encephalitis virus clinical isolates from West Bengal, India: a comparative approach with respect to SA14-14-2 live attenuated vaccine strain 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:368.
Increasing virulence of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a mosquito-borne zoonotic pathogen is of grave concern because it causes a neurotrophic killer disease Japanese Encephalitis (JE) which, in turn, is responsible globally for viral acute encephalitis syndrome (AES). Despite the availability of vaccine, JE/AES cases and deaths have become regular features in the different rural districts of West Bengal (WB) state, India, indicating either the partial coverage of vaccine or the emergence of new strain of JEV. Therefore, a study was undertaken to characterize and compare the complete envelope (E) protein gene based molecular changes/patterns of JEVs circulating in WB.
Total of 98 AES case-patients’ samples were tested to detect the presence of JEV specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody by Mac-ELISA method. Only JEV IgM negative samples with a history of ≤3 days’ illness were screened for virus isolation and RT-PCR. E gene sequences of JEV isolates were subjected to molecular phylogeny and immunoinformatics analysis.
Present study confirmed JEV etiology in 39.7% and 29.1% of patients presenting ≤15 days’ febrile illness, as determined by Mac-ELISA and RT-PCR respectively. Phylogenetic analysis based on complete E gene sequences of JEV isolates showed the co-circulation of JEV genotype I (GI) with genotype III (GIII). This study also demonstrated that isolate-specific crucial amino acid substitutions were closely related to neurovirulence/neuroinvasiveness of JE. On the basis of immunoinformatics analysis, some substitutions were predicted to disrupt T-cell epitope immunogenicity/antigenicity that might largely influence the outcome of vaccine derived from JEV GIII SA14-14-2 strain and this has been observed in a previously vaccinated boy with mild JE/AES due to JEV GI infection.
Based on molecular evolutionary and bioinformatic approaches, we report evolution of JEV at a local level. Such naturally occurring evolution is likely to affect the disease profile and the vaccine efficacy to protect against JEV GI may demand careful evaluation.
PMCID: PMC3751164  PMID: 23927571
Japanese encephalitis virus; Envelope protein gene; Molecular phylogeny; Genotype III; Genotype I; Homology modeling; Hydrophilicity; T-cell epitope; West Bengal
10.  Regulatory role of TRIM21 in the type-I interferon pathway in Japanese encephalitis virus-infected human microglial cells 
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection leads to Japanese encephalitis (JE) in humans. JEV is transmitted through mosquitoes and maintained in a zoonotic cycle. This cycle involves pigs as the major reservoir, water birds as carriers and mosquitoes as vectors. JEV invasion into the central nervous system (CNS) may occur via antipodal transport of virions or through the vascular endothelial cells. Microglial cells get activated in response to pathogenic insults. JEV infection induces the innate immune response and triggers the production of type I interferons. The signaling pathway of type I interferon production is regulated by a number of molecules. TRIM proteins are known to regulate the expression of interferons; however, the involvement of TRIM genes and their underlying mechanism during JEV infection are not known.
Human microglial cells (CHME3) were infected with JEV to understand the role of TRIM21 in JEV infection and its effect on type I interferon (IFN-β) production. Cells were infected in presence and absence of exogenous TRIM21 as well as after knocking down the TRIM21 mRNA. Levels of activated IRF3 expression were measured through Western blot analyses of anti-p-IRF3 antibody, and IFN-β production was measured by using IFN-β real-time PCR and luciferase activity analyses.
JEV infection increased expression of TRIM21 in CHME3 cells. JEV induced an innate immune response by increasing production of IFN-β via IRF3 activation and phosphorylation. Overexpression of TRIM21 resulted in downregulation of p-IRF3 and IFN-β, while silencing led to increased production of p-IRF3 and IFN-β in JEV-infected CHME3 cells.
This report demonstrates TRIM21 as a negative regulator of interferon-β (IFN-β) production mediated by IRF-3 during JEV infection in human microglial cells.
PMCID: PMC3922089  PMID: 24485101
Japanese encephalitis virus; Viral encephalitis; Flavivirus; Antiviral mechanism; Immune evasion; TRIM proteins; TRIM21; Type I interferons; IRF-3; Vector borne infection
11.  Etiological Spectrum of Clinically Diagnosed Japanese Encephalitis Cases Reported in Guizhou Province, China, in 2006 ▿  
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2010;48(4):1343-1349.
The proportion of laboratory-confirmed Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus (JEV) infections was compared to the number of JE cases reported on the basis of seasonality and the clinical symptoms of hospitalized patients in Guizhou Province, China, between April and November 2006. Of the 1,837 patients with reported JE, 1,382 patients in nine prefectures were investigated. JE was confirmed in 1,210 of 1,382 (87.6%) patients by a JEV-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (MAC-ELISA), heminested reverse transcriptase PCR, and virus isolation. Two strains of JEV belonging to genotype 1 were isolated. Other viral pathogens responsible for encephalitis, including echovirus, mumps virus, herpes simplex virus, and cytomegalovirus, were identified in 67 of 172 (38.9%) JE-negative cases. On the basis of the distribution of the laboratory-confirmed JE cases from different hospitals according to the Chinese administrative division, which included hospitals at the provincial, city, county, and township levels, county hospitals detected the highest number of JE cases (81.8%), whereas township hospitals detected the smallest number of JE cases (1.4%). Provincial and city hospitals had the highest and lowest rates of accuracy of providing a clinical diagnosis of JE, as confirmed by laboratory testing (91.8% and 76.7%, respectively). This study demonstrates that laboratory confirmation improves the accuracy of diagnosis of JE and that an enhanced laboratory capacity is critical for JE surveillance as well as the identification of other pathogens that cause encephalitic syndromes with clinical symptoms similar to those caused by JEV infection.
PMCID: PMC2849585  PMID: 20147638
12.  Recurrence of Japanese Encephalitis Epidemic in Wuhan, China, 2009–2010 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e52687.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) was once epidemic in most areas of China, including Wuhan, a city located in the central part of China. The incidence of JE dramatically decreased due to nationwide immunization with the live attenuated JE virus (JEV) vaccine, and no JE cases were reported during 2005–2008 in Wuhan. In 2009 and 2010, 31 JE cases reoccurred in this area. In this study, we investigated the causes of JE recurrence.
Methods and Findings
All JE cases were laboratory-confirmed by detecting the JEV-specific IgM antibody with an IgM-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). All patients were children between 2 months and 9 years of age with a median age of 2 years. Of the 31 cases, 9 had received one or two doses of the JEV vaccine, 11 had not been immunized previously with the JEV vaccine, and 11 had an unclear immunization history. Through reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), sequencing, and phylogenetic analysis, two new strains of JEV were isolated from Culex tritaeniorhynchus and identified as genotype 1 JEV, rather than genotype 3, which circulated in this area previously.
Vaccine failure or missed vaccination may have caused JE recurrence. Local centers for disease control and prevention need to improve immunization coverage, and the efficacy of the JE vaccine needs to be reevaluated in a population at risk for disease.
PMCID: PMC3541373  PMID: 23326348
13.  Molecular evidence for the occurrence of Japanese encephalitis virus genotype I and III infection associated with acute Encephalitis in Patients of West Bengal, India, 2010 
Virology Journal  2012;9:271.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a mosquito-borne zoonotic pathogen, is the sole etiologic agent of Japanese Encephalitis (JE); a neurotropic killer disease which is one of the major causes of viral encephalitis worldwide with prime public health concern. JE was first reported in the state of West Bengal, India in 1973. Since then it is being reported every year from different districts of the state, though the vaccination has already been done. Therefore, it indicates that there might be either partial coverage of the vaccine or the emergence of mutated/new strain of JEV. Considering this fact, to understand the JEV genotype distribution, we conducted a molecular epidemiological study on a total of 135 serum/cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples referred and/or collected from the clinically suspected patients with Acute encephalitis syndrome (AES), admitted in different district hospitals of West Bengal, India, 2010.
JEV etiology was confirmed in 36/135 (26.6%) and 13/61 (21.3%) 2–15 days’ febrile illness samples from AES cases by analyzing Mac-ELISA followed by RT-PCR test respectively. Phylogenetic analysis based on complete envelope gene sequences of 13 isolates showed the emergence of JEV genotype I (GI), co-circulating with genotype III (GIII).
This study represents the first report of JEV GI with GIII, co-circulating in West Bengal. The efficacy of the vaccine (derived from JEV GIII strain SA-14-14-2) to protect against emerging JEV GI needs careful evaluation. In future, JE outbreak is quite likely in the state, if this vaccine fails to protect sufficiently against GI of JEV.
PMCID: PMC3560186  PMID: 23153306
Acute encephalitis syndrome; Japanese encephalitis virus; Genotype I; Genotype III; West Bengal
14.  Identification and isolation of Genotype-I Japanese Encephalitis virus from encephalitis patients 
Virology Journal  2010;7:345.
Historically, Japanese Encephalitis virus (JEV) genotype III (GIII) has been responsible for human diseases. In recent years, JEV genotype I (GI) has been isolated from mosquitoes collected in numerous countries, but has not been isolated from patients with encephalitis. In this study, we report recovery of JEV GI live virus and identification of JEV GI RNA from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of encephalitis patients in JE endemic areas of China. Whole-genome sequencing and molecular phylogenetic analysis of the JEV isolate from the CSF samples was performed. The isolate in this study is highly similar to other JEV GI strains which isolated from mosquitoes at both the nucleotide and deduced amino acid levels. Phylogenetic analysis based on the genomic sequence showed that the isolate belongs to JEV GI, which is consistent with the phylogenetic analysis based on the pre-membrane (PrM) and Glycoprotein genes. As a conclusion, this is the first time to isolate JEV GI strain from CSF samples of encephalitis patients, so continuous survey and evaluate the infectivity and pathogenecity of JEV GI strains are necessary, especially for the JEV GI strains from encephalitis patients. With respect to the latter, because all current JEV vaccines (live and inactivated are derived from JEV GIII strains, future studies should be aimed at investigating and monitoring cross-protection of the human JEV GI isolates against widely used JEV vaccines.
PMCID: PMC3002311  PMID: 21108846
15.  Infection of Human Endothelial Cells by Japanese Encephalitis Virus: Increased Expression and Release of Soluble HLA-E 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79197.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a single stranded RNA virus that infects the central nervous system leading to acute encephalitis in children. Alterations in brain endothelial cells have been shown to precede the entry of this flavivirus into the brain, but infection of endothelial cells by JEV and their consequences are still unclear. Productive JEV infection was established in human endothelial cells leading to IFN-β and TNF-α production. The MHC genes for HLA-A, -B, -C and HLA-E antigens were upregulated in human brain microvascular endothelial cells, the endothelial-like cell line, ECV 304 and human foreskin fibroblasts upon JEV infection. We also report the release/shedding of soluble HLA-E (sHLA-E) from JEV infected human endothelial cells for the first time. This shedding of sHLA-E was blocked by an inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP). In addition, MMP-9, a known mediator of HLA solubilisation was upregulated by JEV. In contrast, human fibroblasts showed only upregulation of cell-surface HLA-E. Addition of UV inactivated JEV-infected cell culture supernatants stimulated shedding of sHLA-E from uninfected ECV cells indicating a role for soluble factors/cytokines in the shedding process. Antibody mediated neutralization of TNF-α as well as IFNAR receptor together not only resulted in inhibition of sHLA-E shedding from uninfected cells, it also inhibited HLA-E and MMP-9 gene expression in JEV-infected cells. Shedding of sHLA-E was also observed with purified TNF-α and IFN-β as well as the dsRNA analog, poly (I:C). Both IFN-β and TNF-α further potentiated the shedding when added together. The role of soluble MHC antigens in JEV infection is hitherto unknown and therefore needs further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3827286  PMID: 24236107
16.  Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein A2 Participates in the Replication of Japanese Encephalitis Virus through an Interaction with Viral Proteins and RNA ▿  
Journal of Virology  2011;85(21):10976-10988.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that is kept in a zoonotic transmission cycle between pigs and mosquitoes. JEV causes infection of the central nervous system with a high mortality rate in dead-end hosts, including humans. Many studies have suggested that the flavivirus core protein is not only a component of nucleocapsids but also an important pathogenic determinant. In this study, we identified heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2 (hnRNP A2) as a binding partner of the JEV core protein by pulldown purification and mass spectrometry. Reciprocal coimmunoprecipitation analyses in transfected and infected cells confirmed a specific interaction between the JEV core protein and hnRNP A2. Expression of the JEV core protein induced cytoplasmic retention of hnRNP A2 in JEV subgenomic replicon cells. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of hnRNP A2 resulted in a 90% reduction of viral RNA replication in cells infected with JEV, and the reduction was cancelled by the expression of an siRNA-resistant hnRNP A2 mutant. In addition to the core protein, hnRNP A2 also associated with JEV nonstructural protein 5, which has both methyltransferase and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activities, and with the 5′-untranslated region of the negative-sense JEV RNA. During one-step growth, synthesis of both positive- and negative-strand JEV RNAs was delayed by the knockdown of hnRNP A2. These results suggest that hnRNP A2 plays an important role in the replication of JEV RNA through the interaction with viral proteins and RNA.
PMCID: PMC3194950  PMID: 21865391
17.  Japanese encephalitis virus infection induces changes of mRNA profile of mouse spleen and brain 
Virology Journal  2011;8:80.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, leading to an acute encephalitis and damage to the central nervous system (CNS). The mechanism of JEV pathogenesis is still unclear. DNA microarray analyses have been recently employed to detect changes in host gene expression, which is helpful to reveal molecular pathways that govern viral pathogenesis. In order to globally identify candidate host genes associated with JEV pathogenesis, a systematic mRNA profiling was performed in spleens and brains of JEV-infected mice.
The results of microarray analysis showed that 437 genes in spleen and 1119 genes in brain were differentially expressed in response to JEV infection, with obviously upregulated genes like pro-inflammatory chemokines and cytokines, apoptosis-related proteases and IFN inducible transcription factors. And the significant pathways of differentially expressed genes are involved in cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction, natural killer cell mediated cytotoxicity, antigen processing and presentation, MAPK signaling, and toll-like receptor signaling, etc. The differential expression of these genes suggests a strong antiviral response of host but may also contribute to the pathogenesis of JEV resulting in encephalitis. Quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR) assay of some selected genes further confirmed the results of microarray assay.
Data obtained from mRNA microarray suggests that JEV infection causes significant changes of mRNA expression profiles in mouse spleen and brain. Most of differentially expression genes are associated with antiviral response of host, which may provide important information for investigation of JEV pathogenesis and therapeutic method.
PMCID: PMC3056812  PMID: 21345237
18.  Nitazoxanide inhibits the replication of Japanese encephalitis virus in cultured cells and in a mouse model 
Virology Journal  2014;11:10.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) has a significant impact on public health. An estimated three billion people in 'at-risk’ regions remain unvaccinated and the number of unvaccinated individuals in certain Asian countries is increasing. Consequently, there is an urgent need for the development of novel therapeutic agents against Japanese encephalitis. Nitazoxanide (NTZ) is a thiazolide anti-infective licensed for the treatment of parasitic gastroenteritis. Recently, NTZ has been demonstrated to have antiviral properties. In this study, the anti-JEV activity of NTZ was evaluated in cultured cells and in a mouse model.
JEV-infected cells were treated with NTZ at different concentrations. The replication of JEV in the mock- and NTZ-treated cells was examined by virus titration. NTZ was administered at different time points of JEV infection to determine the stage at which NTZ affected JEV replication. Mice were infected with a lethal dose of JEV and intragastrically administered with NTZ from 1 day post-infection. The protective effect of NTZ on the JEV-infected mice was evaluated.
NTZ significantly inhibited the replication of JEV in cultured cells in a dose dependent manner with 50% effective concentration value of 0.12 ± 0.04 μg/ml, a non-toxic concentration in cultured cells (50% cytotoxic concentration = 18.59 ± 0.31 μg/ml). The chemotherapeutic index calculated was 154.92. The viral yields of the NTZ-treated cells were significantly reduced at 12, 24, 36 and 48 h post-infection compared with the mock-treated cells. NTZ was found to exert its anti-JEV effect at the early-mid stage of viral infection. The anti-JEV effect of NTZ was also demonstrated in vivo, where 90% of mice that were treated by daily intragastric administration of 100 mg/kg/day of NTZ were protected from a lethal challenge dose of JEV.
Both in vitro and in vivo data indicated that NTZ has anti-JEV activity, suggesting the potential application of NTZ in the treatment of Japanese encephalitis.
PMCID: PMC3927656  PMID: 24456815
Japanese encephalitis virus; Nitazoxanide (NTZ); Antiviral
19.  Encephalitis temporally associated with live attenuated Japanese encephalitis vaccine: four case reports 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2011;11:344.
Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccination is the most effective measure for preventing JE disease. The live attenuated JE vaccine, which has shown good efficacy and safety, has been widely used in China.
Case presentations
We report four laboratory-confirmed JE cases detected in JE-endemic areas during the JE virus (JEV) transmission season, who all received a first dose of live attenuated JE vaccine within 2 weeks prior to the onset of illness. All cases presented with acute encephalitis and rapidly reduced consciousness. All cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from the patients were positive for JEV-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies, but viral isolation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection of JEV were both negative.
It is difficult to identify a causal link between the disease and the vaccination, as the source of positive CSF JEV IgM antibodies might be natural JEV infection or possibly due to a traumatic lumbar puncture. Our observations highlight the need for public health officers and doctors to consider reasonable vaccination policies during the JE season. In addition, continued surveillance as well as thorough investigation of any events that occur after JE vaccination is necessary.
PMCID: PMC3282669  PMID: 22168358
20.  Evaluation of Serological Diagnostic Test Systems Assessing the Immune Response to Japanese Encephalitis Vaccination 
A new commercial anti-Japanese encephalitis virus IgM and IgG indirect immunofluorescence test (IIFT) was evaluated for the detection of the humoral immune response after Japanese encephalitis vaccination. The IgM IIFT was compared to two IgM capture ELISAs and the IgG IIFT was analysed in comparison to a plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT50) and an IgG ELISA. Moreover, the course of the immune reaction after vaccination with an inactivated JEV vaccine was examined. For the present study 300 serum samples from different blood withdrawals from 100 persons vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis were used. For the IgM evaluation, altogether 78 PRNT50 positive samples taken 7 to 56 days after vaccination and 78 PRNT50 negative sera were analyzed with the Euroimmun anti-JEV IgM IIFT, the Panbio Japanese Encephalitis – Dengue IgM Combo ELISA and the InBios JE Detect IgM capture ELISA. For the IgG evaluation, 100 sera taken 56 days after vaccination and 100 corresponding sera taken before vaccination were tested in the PRNT50, the Euroimmun anti-JEV IgG IIFT, and the InBios JE Detect IgG ELISA. The Euroimmun IgM IIFT showed in comparison to the Panbio ELISA a specificity of 95% and a sensitivity of 86%. With respect to the InBios ELISA, the values were 100% and 83.9%, respectively. The analysis of the Euroimmun IgG IIFT performance and the PRNT50 results demonstrated a specificity of 100% and a sensitivity of 93.8%, whereas it was not possible to detect more than 6.6% of the PRNT50 positive sera as positive with the InBios JE Detect IgG ELISA. Thus, the IIFT is a valuable alternative to the established methods in detecting anti-JEV antibodies after vaccination in travellers and it might prove useful for the diagnosis of acutely infected persons.
Author Summary
Japanese encephalitis, caused by the Japanese encephalitis virus, is the most prominent viral encephalitis in Asia. Three billion people live in endemic areas and at least 50,000 clinical cases occur each year, although reliable vaccines are available. Concerning the burden caused by this disease, more should be done to prevent it. Good and reliable diagnostics are one of the prerequisites for an effective fight against the virus, but it is nearly impossible to produce and evaluate an in-house assay according to high standard quality criteria as done for commercial tests. Only a few commercial assays are available and the thorough evaluation of these assays is of great importance for diagnostic laboratories. The sensitivity and specificity are statistical measures to assess the performance of a diagnostic assay. In this study the Euroimmun IgM indirect immunofluorescence test (IIFT) was compared to the Panbio and InBios IgM ELISAs. It showed a specificity of 95% and 100%, and a sensitivity of 86% and 93.8%, respectively. The specificity of the IgG IIFT in comparison to PRNT50 was 100% and the sensitivity was 93.8%. Overall, the IIFT showed a comparable performance and could be used as an alternative to the established assays.
PMCID: PMC2982812  PMID: 21103412
21.  The Chemokine Receptor CCR5, a Therapeutic Target for HIV/AIDS Antagonists, Is Critical for Recovery in a Mouse Model of Japanese Encephalitis 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44834.
Japanese encephalitis is a severe central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory disease caused by the mosquito-borne flavivirus, Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). In the current study we have investigated the immune responses against JEV in mice lacking expression of the chemokine receptor CCR5, which functions in activation and chemotaxis of leukocytes during infection. We show that CCR5 serves as a host antiviral factor against Japanese encephalitis, with CCR5 deficiency markedly increasing mortality, and viral burden in the CNS. Humoral immune responses, which are essential in recovery from JEV infection, were of similar magnitude in CCR5 sufficient and deficient mice. However, absence of CCR5 resulted in a multifaceted deficiency of cellular immune responses characterized by reduced natural killer and CD8+ T cell activity, low splenic cellularity, and impaired trafficking of leukocytes to the brain. Interestingly, adoptive transfer of immune spleen cells, depleted of B lymphocytes, increased resistance of CCR5-deficient recipient mice against JEV regardless of whether the cells were obtained from CCR5-deficient or wild-type donor mice, and only when transferred at one but not at three days post-challenge. This result is consistent with a mechanism by which CCR5 expression enhances lymphocyte activation and thereby promotes host survival in Japanese encephalitis.
PMCID: PMC3448613  PMID: 23028638
22.  Involvement of Ceramide in the Propagation of Japanese Encephalitis Virus ▿  
Journal of Virology  2010;84(6):2798-2807.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a mosquito-borne RNA virus and one of the most important flaviviruses in the medical and veterinary fields. Although cholesterol has been shown to participate in both the entry and replication steps of JEV, the mechanisms of infection, including the cellular receptors of JEV, remain largely unknown. To clarify the infection mechanisms of JEV, we generated pseudotype (JEVpv) and recombinant (JEVrv) vesicular stomatitis viruses bearing the JEV envelope protein. Both JEVpv and JEVrv exhibited high infectivity for the target cells, and JEVrv was able to propagate and form foci as did authentic JEV. Anti-JEV envelope antibodies neutralized infection of the viruses. Treatment of cells with inhibitors for vacuolar ATPase and clathrin-mediated endocytosis reduced the infectivity of JEVpv, suggesting that JEVpv enters cells via pH- and clathrin-dependent endocytic pathways. Although treatment of the particles of JEVpv, JEVrv, and JEV with cholesterol drastically reduced the infectivity as previously reported, depletion of cholesterol from the particles by treatment with methyl β-cyclodextrin enhanced infectivity. Furthermore, treatment of cells with sphingomyelinase (SMase), which hydrolyzes membrane-bound sphingomyelin to ceramide, drastically enhanced infection with JEVpv and propagation of JEVrv, and these enhancements were inhibited by treatment with an SMase inhibitor or C6-ceramide. These results suggest that ceramide plays crucial roles in not only entry but also egress processes of JEV, and they should assist in the clarification of JEV propagation and the development of novel therapeutics against diseases caused by infection with flaviviruses.
PMCID: PMC2826033  PMID: 20053738
23.  TNF-α Acts as an Immunoregulator in the Mouse Brain by Reducing the Incidence of Severe Disease Following Japanese Encephalitis Virus Infection 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71643.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) causes acute central nervous system (CNS) disease in humans, in whom the clinical symptoms vary from febrile illness to meningitis and encephalitis. However, the mechanism of severe encephalitis has not been fully elucidated. In this study, using a mouse model, we investigated the pathogenetic mechanisms that correlate with fatal JEV infection. Following extraneural infection with the JaOArS982 strain of JEV, infected mice exhibited clinical signs ranging from mild to fatal outcome. Comparison of the pathogenetic response between severe and mild cases of JaOArS982-infected mice revealed increased levels of TNF-α in the brains of severe cases. However, unexpectedly, the mortality rate of TNF-α KO mice was significantly increased compared with that of WT mice, indicating that TNF-α plays a protective role against fatal infection. Interestingly, there were no significant differences of viral load in the CNS between WT and TNF-α KO mice. However, exaggerated inflammatory responses were observed in the CNS of TNF-α KO mice. Although these observations were also obtained in IL-10 KO mice, the mortality and enhanced inflammatory responses were more pronounced in TNF-α KO mice. Our findings therefore provide the first evidence that TNF-α has an immunoregulatory effect on pro-inflammatory cytokines in the CNS during JEV infection and consequently protects the animals from fatal disease. Thus, we propose that the increased level of TNF-α in severe cases was the result of severe disease, and secondly that immunopathological effects contribute to severe neuronal degeneration resulting in fatal disease. In future, further elucidation of the immunoregulatory mechanism of TNF-α will be an important priority to enable the development of effective treatment strategies for Japanese encephalitis.
PMCID: PMC3733918  PMID: 23940775
24.  An approach for differentiating echovirus 30 and Japanese encephalitis virus infections in acute meningitis/encephalitis: a retrospective study of 103 cases in Vietnam 
Virology Journal  2013;10:280.
In recent decades, Echovirus 30 (E30) and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) have been reported to be the common causative agents of acute meningitis among patients in South East Asia. An E30 outbreak in Vietnam in 2001–2002 gained our interest because the initial clinical diagnosis of infected patients was due to JEV infection. There are few clinical insights regarding E30 cases, and there are no reports comparing E30 and JEV acute meningitis/encephalitis cases based on clinical symptoms and case histories. We therefore aimed to identify reliable clinical methods to differentiate E30 and JEV acute meningitis/encephalitis.
A retrospective, cross-sectional study was conducted to compare E30 and JEV acute meningitis/encephalitis cases. We collected and analyzed the clinical records of 43 E30 confirmed cases (E30 group) and 60 JEV confirmed cases (JEV group). Clinical data were compared between the E30 and the JEV groups. Differences of clinical parameters were analyzed by certain statistical tests.
Fever, headache, and vomiting were the most common symptoms in both the E30 and the JEV groups. Combined symptoms of headache and vomiting and the triad of symptoms of fever, headache, and vomiting were observed in more patients in the E30 group (E30 vs. JEV: 19% vs. 0%, p < 0.001; 74% vs. 27%, p < 0.001, respectively). On the other hand, strong neurological symptoms such as seizure (5% vs. 73%, p < 0.001) and altered consciousness (12% vs. 97%, p < 0.001) were manifested primarily in the JEV group. CSF leukocytosis was observed predominantly in the E30 group (80 vs. 18 cells/μL, p = 0.003), whereas decreasing CSF sugar level was observed predominantly in the JEV group (58.7 vs. 46.9 mg/dL, p < 0.001).
Fever, headache, vomiting, absence of neurological symptoms (seizure, altered consciousness), and presence of CSF leukocytosis are important parameters to consider in differentiating E30 from JEV cases during early infection. Then, proper measures can be adopted immediately to prevent the spread of the disease in the affected areas.
PMCID: PMC3847169  PMID: 24025733
Echovirus 30; Japanese encephalitis virus; Acute meningitis/encephalitis
25.  The prM-independent packaging of pseudotyped Japanese encephalitis virus 
Virology Journal  2009;6:115.
As noted in other flaviviruses, the envelope (E) protein of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) interacts with a cellular receptor and mediates membrane fusion to allow viral entry into target cells, thus eliciting neutralizing antibody response. The formation of the flavivirus prM/E complex is followed by the cleavage of precursor membrane (prM) and membrane (M) protein by a cellular signalase. To test the effect of prM in JEV biology, we constucted JEV-MuLV pseudotyped viruses that express the prM/E protein or E only. The infectivity and titers of JEV pseudotyped viruses were examined in several cell lines. We also analyzed the neutralizing capacities with anti-JEV sera from JEV-immunized mice. Even though prM is crucial for multiple stages of JEV biology, the JEV-pseudotyped viruses produced with prM/E or with E only showed similar infectivity and titers in several cell lines and similar neutralizing sensitivity. These results showed that JEV-MuLV pseudotyped viruses did not require prM for production of infectious pseudotyped viruses.
PMCID: PMC3224942  PMID: 19640312

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