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Open AccessArticle

Seroprevalence of Neutralizing Antibodies against Japanese Encephalitis Virus among Adolescents and Adults in Korea: A Prospective Multicenter Study

1
Department of Pediatrics, Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital, Seoul 07441, Korea
2
Department of Pediatrics, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon 22332, Korea
3
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Inha University School of Medicine, Incheon 22332, Korea
4
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju 26426, Korea
5
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chonbuk National University Medical School and Hospital, Jeonju 54907, Korea
6
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon 35015, Korea
7
Department of Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Seoul 06591, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Vaccines 2020, 8(2), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8020328
Received: 21 May 2020 / Revised: 13 June 2020 / Accepted: 17 June 2020 / Published: 19 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Attenuated/Inactivated/Live and Vectored Vaccines)
The immunization schedule for the Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine in Korea is a two-dose primary series at 12–24 months of age, followed by booster doses 12 months after the second dose and at the ages of 6 and 12 years. Although the number of JE cases has markedly decreased after the universal vaccination program, JE predominantly occurs in adults. The aim of this study was to assess the age-specific prevalence of the JE-neutralizing antibody (NTAb) among adolescents and adults in Korea. A total of 1603 specimens were collected from a healthy Korean population above 15 years old in five provinces. The JE-NTAb titers were measured with the pseudotyped virus assay and considered to be positive at ≥ 1:50. The seropositivity of JE-NTAb was the highest in the 15–29 years category (>95%) and gradually began to decrease in the age group of 30–44 years (89.42%). The lowest and second lowest JE-NTAb seropositive rates were observed among those aged 70 years or older (59.77%) and those aged 55–59 years (75.24%), respectively. Subjects from Seoul exhibited the highest JE-NTAb titer in all age groups compared to other provinces. In conclusion, the JE-NTAb seropositive rates and titers have maintained appropriate levels in the general Korean population. We propose that adult immunization and boosters at 12 years of age against JE are not strongly recommended in Korea. View Full-Text
Keywords: Japanese encephalitis; seroprevalence; neutralizing antibodies; Korea Japanese encephalitis; seroprevalence; neutralizing antibodies; Korea
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Kwak, B.O.; Kwon, Y.S.; Hong, Y.J.; Nahm, C.H.; Jang, W.; Uh, Y.; Cho, Y.G.; Kim, J.; Kim, M.; Kim, D.H. Seroprevalence of Neutralizing Antibodies against Japanese Encephalitis Virus among Adolescents and Adults in Korea: A Prospective Multicenter Study. Vaccines 2020, 8, 328.

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