Special Issue "Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV)"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Luis Filgueira
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Medicine, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Interests: Japanese encephalitis virus; microglia; cellular immunology; infectious immunology; stem cells; microscopy
Dr. Nils Lannes

Guest Editor
Department of Medicine, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Interests: Japanese encephalitis virus; microglia; cellular immunology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

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
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • 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

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Review

Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Early Events in Japanese Encephalitis Virus Infection: Viral Entry
Pathogens 2018, 7(3), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens7030068 - 13 Aug 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a mosquito-borne zoonotic flavivirus, is an enveloped positive-strand RNA virus that can cause a spectrum of clinical manifestations, ranging from mild febrile illness to severe neuroinvasive disease. Today, several killed and live vaccines are available in different parts of [...] Read more.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a mosquito-borne zoonotic flavivirus, is an enveloped positive-strand RNA virus that can cause a spectrum of clinical manifestations, ranging from mild febrile illness to severe neuroinvasive disease. Today, several killed and live vaccines are available in different parts of the globe for use in humans to prevent JEV-induced diseases, yet no antivirals are available to treat JEV-associated diseases. Despite the progress made in vaccine research and development, JEV is still a major public health problem in southern, eastern, and southeastern Asia, as well as northern Oceania, with the potential to become an emerging global pathogen. In viral replication, the entry of JEV into the cell is the first step in a cascade of complex interactions between the virus and target cells that is required for the initiation, dissemination, and maintenance of infection. Because this step determines cell/tissue tropism and pathogenesis, it is a promising target for antiviral therapy. JEV entry is mediated by the viral glycoprotein E, which binds virions to the cell surface (attachment), delivers them to endosomes (endocytosis), and catalyzes the fusion between the viral and endosomal membranes (membrane fusion), followed by the release of the viral genome into the cytoplasm (uncoating). In this multistep process, a collection of host factors are involved. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the viral and cellular components involved in JEV entry into host cells, with an emphasis on the initial virus-host cell interactions on the cell surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV))
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