Origin and evolution of Japanese encephalitis virus in Southeast Asia

Tom Solomon, Haolin Ni, David Beasley, Miquel Ekkelenkamp, Mary Jane Cardosa, Alan Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

282 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since it emerged in Japan in the 1870s, Japanese encephalitis has spread across Asia and has become the most important cause of epidemic encephalitis worldwide. Four genotypes of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) are presently recognized (representatives of genotypes I to III have been fully sequenced), but its origin is not known. We have determined the complete nucleotide and amino acid sequence of a genotype IV Indonesian isolate (JKT6468) which represents the oldest lineage, compared it with other fully sequenced genomes, and examined the geographical distribution of all known isolates. JKT6468 was the least similar, with nucleotide divergence ranging from 17.4 to 19.6% and amino acid divergence ranging from 4.7 to 6.5%. It included an unusual series of amino acids at the carboxy terminus of the core protein unlike that seen in other JEV strains. Three signature amino acids in the envelope protein (including E327 Leu→Thr/Ser on the exposed lateral surface of the putative receptor binding domain) distinguished genotype IV strains from more recent genotypes. Analysis of all 290 JEV isolates for which sequence data are available showed that the Indonesia-Malaysia region has all genotypes of JEV circulating, whereas only more recent genotypes circulate in other areas (P < 0.0001). These results suggest that JEV originated from its ancestral virus in the Indonesia-Malaysia region and evolved there into the different genotypes which then spread across Asia. Our data, together with recent evidence on the origins of other emerging viruses, including dengue virus and Nipah virus, imply that tropical southeast Asia may be an important zone for emerging pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3091-3098
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume77
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2003

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Japanese Encephalitis Virus
Japanese encephalitis virus
Southeastern Asia
South East Asia
Genotype
genotype
Indonesia
Malaysia
encephalitis
Amino Acids
amino acids
Arbovirus Encephalitis
Nipah Virus
Nipah virus
Nucleotides
nucleotides
Japanese Encephalitis
Viruses
Dengue virus
viruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Origin and evolution of Japanese encephalitis virus in Southeast Asia. / Solomon, Tom; Ni, Haolin; Beasley, David; Ekkelenkamp, Miquel; Cardosa, Mary Jane; Barrett, Alan.

In: Journal of Virology, Vol. 77, No. 5, 03.2003, p. 3091-3098.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Solomon, Tom ; Ni, Haolin ; Beasley, David ; Ekkelenkamp, Miquel ; Cardosa, Mary Jane ; Barrett, Alan. / Origin and evolution of Japanese encephalitis virus in Southeast Asia. In: Journal of Virology. 2003 ; Vol. 77, No. 5. pp. 3091-3098.
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