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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 59  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 356-362

Molecular epidemiology of Japanese encephalitis in pigs and risk factors associated with causing Japanese encephalitis in pigs of Lakhimpur, the first case reported in the district of North East India

1 Department of Veterinary Public Health, College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agricultural University, Khanapara, Guwahati, Assam, India
2 Department of Biotechnology, Mizoram University, Aizawl, Mizoram, India

Correspondence Address:
U Rajkhowa
Department of Veterinary Public Health, College of Veterinary Science, Assam Agricultural University, Khanapara, Guwahati-781022, Assam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.355966

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Background & objectives: Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a major public health problem in India. The first outbreaks of JE have been reported from the North-eastern regions of Assam, particularly from the Lakhimpur district of Assam between July–August 1989. In Assam every year many people died due to JE. This study was performed to investigate the molecular epidemiology of JE in pigs in Lakhimpur district of Assam and the risk factors associated with causing Japanese encephalitis in pigs. This study will help to map out the endemic regions and to know where and when to apply the most control strategies towards the prevention and control of the disease. Methods: A total of 342 serum samples from pigs were collected from 10 organized and 20 unorganized farms from 9 blocks and recorded to age, sex and breed and tested by RT-PCR. Pig farms and the surrounding environment were studied for assessment of farm-level risk factors responsible for JEV infection in pigs. Results: Out of 342 samples tested for detection of the E gene of JEV, 14 samples were found to be positive with a prevalence rate of 4.09%. Age, sex and breed-wise higher cases were found in at the age group above 12 months, sex wise female and breed-wise local pigs. Pig farms less than 500 meters from risk factors like rice field, stagnant water source, wild bird exposure to farm and mosquito exposure at farm/ bite to pigs, found to be more numbers of JE cases. Interpretation & conclusion: Molecular epidemiology of JE in pigs, and humans; positive at Lakhimpur recommend the need for uninterrupted surveillance of this virus in pigs specially those areas where pig population is more and all risk factors are present.

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