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Zoonoses Public Health. 2012 Sep;59(6):393-400. doi: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2012.01456.x. Epub 2012 Feb 20.

Seroprevalence of Japanese encephalitis virus and risk factors associated with seropositivity in pigs in four mountain districts in Nepal.

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Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.


Japanese encephalitis was recently reported from individuals in the mountain districts of Nepal without travel history to Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) endemic areas. We performed a cross-sectional study to estimate the seroprevalence of JEV in pigs and subsequently conducted a survey of farmers to identify risk factors associated with seropositivity. In July and August, 2010, 454 pig serum samples were collected and tested by competitive ELISA. Data from a 35-question survey of 109 pig owners were analysed using multivariate logistic regression. Seventy-six (16.7, 95% CI 13.6-20.4) pigs tested positive for anti-JEV antibodies, none of which had been vaccinated against JEV or sourced from JEV endemic areas. Risk factors associated with JEV seropositivity were 'summer abortion', 'wells as a water source', 'urban location', 'reported presence of mosquitoes' and 'lower elevation'. Our results suggest that JEV is likely circulating in the mountain districts of Nepal, and that locally acquired JEV should be considered a risk for residents and travellers in these areas.

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