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Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the most important cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. It is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, and belongs to the same genus as dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses. The annual incidence of clinical disease varies both across and within endemic countries, ranging from <1 to >10 per 100 000 population or higher during outbreaks. JEV primarily affects children. Most adults in endemic countries have natural immunity after childhood infection, but individuals of any age may be affected.
At The Native Antigen Company we have developed mammalian expressed recombinant NS1 proteins, and highly specific monoclonal antibodies that show no cross-reactivity with other flaviviruses.

Japanese Encephalitis background

The Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) belongs to the genus Flavivirus, of the family Flaviviridae. JEV is also a member of the Japanese encephalitis serology complex, which also includes West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis and Murray Valley encephalitis virus. In nature, JEV cycles primarily between water birds and mosquitoes, of the Culex species, but pigs can be infected and act as amplifying hosts. JEV can also be transmitted to incidental hosts including humans, horse and other mammals.

In Asia, Japanese encephalitis (JE) is the leading cause of viral encephalitis in children, with up to 70,000 cases reported annually. In most cases JEV infection causes mild symptoms but a small number of cases develop into severe life-threatening encephalitis. The symptoms of JEV infection are like those seen in other conditions that cause severe encephalitis syndrome. In cases presenting with severe encephalitis, mortality rates can be as high as 30%, with survivors developing long term neurological and behavioural complications. Currently, there is no specific antiviral therapy for JEV but safe and effective licenced vaccines are available (1).

Diagnosis of JEV infection is achieved by serological testing for JEV specific IgM antibodies in the patient’s cerebrospinal fluid or serum. However, cross-reactivity of JEV specific antibodies with other Flaviviruses that co-circulate with JEV, such as Dengue virus, can be a challenge and can prevent accurate diagnosis (2).

References

  1. WHO Japanese encephalitis Factsheet
  2. Johnson, B.W. et.al. (2016). Differential Diagnosis of Japanese Encephalitis Virus Infections with the Inbios JE Detect™ and DEN Detect™ MAC-ELISA Kits. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 94: 820–828.

Japanese Encephalitis Antigens

The Native Antigen Company prepare recombinant JEV NS1 protein in a proprietary mammalian cell expression system, which generates highly pure NS1 protein in glycosylated form and predominantly in hexameric format.

Japanese Encephalitis Antibodies

We have used our recombinant JEV NS1 protein to raise a panel of specific antibodies to JEV NS1 protein, all of which are highly specific and do not cross-react with NS1 proteins from other flaviviruses, including Dengue, Yellow Fever and West Nile viruses.

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