Volume 81, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


To determine the potential role of flying foxes in transmission cycles of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) in Australia, we exposed (Megachiroptera: Pteropididae) to JEV via infected mosquitoes or inoculation. No flying foxes developed symptoms consistent with JEV infection. Anti-JEV IgG antibodies developed in 6/10 flying foxes exposed to infected and in 5/5 inoculated flying foxes. Low-level viremia was detected by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in 1/5 inoculated flying foxes and this animal was able to infect recipient mosquitoes. Although viremia was not detected in any of the 10 flying foxes that were exposed to JEV by mosquito bite, two animals infected recipient mosquitoes. Likewise, an inoculated flying fox without detectable viremia infected recipient mosquitoes. Although infection rates in recipient mosquitoes were low, the high population densities in roosting camps, coupled with migratory behavior indicate that flying foxes could play a role in the dispersal of JEV.


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  • Received : 27 Oct 2008
  • Accepted : 28 May 2009

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