Experimental infections of pigs with Japanese encephalitis virus and closely related Australian flaviviruses.

D T Williams CSIRO Livestock Industries, Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong, Victoria.

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P W Daniels CSIRO Livestock Industries, Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong, Victoria.

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R A Lunt CSIRO Livestock Industries, Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong, Victoria.

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L F Wang CSIRO Livestock Industries, Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong, Victoria.

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K M Newberry CSIRO Livestock Industries, Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong, Victoria.

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J S Mackenzie CSIRO Livestock Industries, Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong, Victoria.

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The flavivirus Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus has recently emerged in the Australasian region. To investigate the involvement of infections with related enzootic flaviviruses, namely Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) virus and Kunjin (KUN) virus, on immunity of pigs to JE virus and to provide a basis for interpretation of serologic data, experimental infections were conducted with combinations of these viruses. Antibody responses to primary and secondary infections were evaluated using panels of monoclonal antibody-based blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and microtiter serum neutralization tests (mSNTs). Identification of the primary infecting virus was possible only using the mSNTs. Following challenge, unequivocal diagnosis was impossible due to variation in immune responses between animals and broadened and/or anamnestic responses. Viremia for JE virus was readily detected in pigs following primary infection, but was not detected following prior exposure to MVE or KUN viruses. Boosted levels of existing cross-neutralizing antibodies to JE virus suggested a role for this response in suppressing JE viremia.

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