Flaviviruses isolated from mosquitoes collected during the first recorded outbreak of Japanese encephalitis virus on Cape York Peninsula, Australia.

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  • 1 Tropical Public Health Unit, Queensland Health, Cairns, Australia. andrew_hurk@health.qld.gov.au

In response to an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus on Cape York Peninsula, Australia, in 1998, mosquitoes were collected using CO2 and octenol-baited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention light traps. A total of 35,235 adult mosquitoes, comprising 31 species, were processed for virus isolation. No isolates of JE virus were recovered from these mosquitoes. However, 18 isolates of Kokobera virus, another flavivirus were obtained from Culex annulirostris. Twelve isolates were from western Cape York (minimum infection rate (MIR) of 0.61: 1,000 mosquitoes) and 6 were from the Northern Peninsula Area (MIR of 1.0:1,000). Potential explanations for the failure to detect JE virus in mosquitoes collected from Cape York Peninsula include the timing of collections, the presence of alternative bloodmeal hosts, differences in pig husbandry, asynchronous porcine seroconversion, and the presence of other flaviviruses.