Volume 69, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Japanese encephalitis (JE) is an important mosquito-borne viral disease in Southeast Asia. Isolation of JE virus from peripheral blood is usually difficult because of transient and low titer of viremia. An reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method was designed to amplify gene (envelope) fragments of JE virus residing in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) without extraction of RNA. Baby hamster kidney-21 cells infected with the T1P1 strain of JE virus (an isolate from collected in Taiwan) were fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde and permeabilized with 0.1% Triton X-100. The RT-PCR was then performed in microtubes using digoxigenin-labeled primers. Virus-positive PBMCs were detected in mice at day 1 and day 3, but not day 5, after intravenous inoculation with JE virus, suggesting that detectable virus circulating in the blood of mice is present for only 2–3 days. On examination of mouse brain tissues, viral RNAs were absent until day 3 post-inoculation. This implied that virus migration from the peripheral blood into the central nervous system occurs at or after day 3 post-inoculation. This method is unique in that the reactions can be conducted in tubes; this makes it convenient, accurate, and efficient compared with the conventional RT-PCR on slides.


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  • Received : 17 Feb 2003
  • Accepted : 25 Jul 2003

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