Special Issue "Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV)"
A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2018) | Viewed by 5066
Interests: Japanese encephalitis virus; microglia; cellular immunology; infectious immunology; stem cells; microscopy
Interests: Japanese encephalitis virus; microglia; cellular immunology
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) was first mentioned as the cause of encephalitis in Japan in the 19th century. The single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus, belonging to the genus Flavivirus, was first isolated in 1935 in Japan. To date, five genotypes have been identified. Genetic studies indicate that JEV emerged about 500 years ago in the tropical regions of today’s Malaysia or surrounding countries, from where it spread north-east to temperate regions of Japan, Korea, China and even to the altitudes of Tibet and to East Siberia, as well as west to the Indian subcontinent, including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal. JEV has also been occasionally found in tropical Australia and very recently in Africa. JEV is expected to spread further and to eventually reach the American and European continents. Every year, there are about 50,000 clinical encephalitis cases, the majority being children, with about 15,000 fatal cases.
Mosquitos of the Culex species are the main vectors, whereas domesticated pigs are important amplifying hosts, in addition to wild animals. Thus, farm animals are often targeted and JEV is therefore also of veterinarian interest. Recently, it has been shown that pigs produce infectious JEV in their saliva and transmit the virus through social contacts. In addition, JEV crosses the blood–placenta barrier, resulting in infection of the brain in piglets. Humans are thought to be dead-end hosts, having only minimal viremia and therefore not being able to spread the virus further.
JEV is neurotropic and targets nerve cells, but JEV also infects other cell types, including endothelial, epithelial and immune cells. The monocyte lineage is of special interest, including dendritic cells, macrophages and microglia cells, as these cells may amplify and spread the virus in the body and organs. However, the mechanism of how JEV crosses the blood–brain barrier and infects brain cells is still not known.
Various vaccines and vaccination strategies have been developed and successfully introduced in many of the affected countries. However, there is no established therapy against JEV infection or preventing encephalitis. Also, there is no early diagnosis. Thus, JEV remains a major threat and re-emerges repeatedly even in vaccinated populations. Consequently, more and continuous research is needed using a variety of clinical, in vivo, in vitro and in silica approaches on various topics of JEV, including epidemics (e.g., how is JEV able to spread to new geographic areas and even continents); the interaction between JEV and mosquitos; genetics and the evolution of JEV; host adaptation; vaccines and therapies; early diagnostic tests; cellular mechanisms of virus entrance; cellular and molecular pathways of JEV establishment and reproduction in cells; spreading of the virus in the host by crossing the placenta and entering into the brain; interaction of JEV with the immune response, as well as research on co-infection with other flaviviruses.
This Special Issue shall cover the research area of JEV in a comprehensive and up-to-date way. It will thus include review and original research articles on the topics mentioned above.
Prof. Luis Filgueira
Dr. Nils Lannes
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- JEV epidemiology
- JEV cell entry and host cell interaction
- JEV clinical spectrum and outcomes
- JEV diagnostics
- JEV experimental model
- JEV genetics
- JEV host interaction
- JEV immune response
- JEV target cell biology
- JEV therapy
- JEV vaccine
- JEV vectors and transmission