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SHORT RESEARCH COMMUNICATION
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 190-192

First report on the detection of Japanese encephalitis virus in fruit bats from India


1 Division of Veterinary Public Health, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, India
2 Centre for Wildlife Conservation Management & Disease Surveillance, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, India

Correspondence Address:
Himani Dhanze
Division of Veterinary Public Health, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, UP-243122
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.335769

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Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a mosquito borne viral zoonotic disease and JE virus (JEV) is responsible for causing several children deaths every year in India. Since 1978, cases of JE have been reported from Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh state annually. The knowledge on the role played by wildlife reservoirs in the sylvatic transmission and maintenance of JE virus remains limited. Bats are reservoir hosts for several emerging and re-emerging viral pathogens but their role in zoonotic cycle of JEV has not been elucidated yet. In Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh, 52 fruit bats were found dead on 26 May 2020. The post-mortem report of the bat samples conducted at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute stated that the bats died due to brain hemorrhage, caused by excessive heat. The brain tissue samples of the bats were subjected to investigation using molecular techniques to determine the presence of JEV. The present work reports for the first time the detection of JEV in brain samples of bats from India. The viral load ranging from 8 to 18 copies/reaction was detected in brain samples by TaqMan real Time RT-PCR. The low viral load might be the reason for the absence of apparent clinical signs in bats and suggests the probable role of fruit bats in maintaining the JEV in nature.


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