First survey on seroprevalence of Japanese encephalitis in long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in Bali, Indonesia

I. Gusti Agung Arta Putra, Anak Agung Ayu Mirah Adi, I. Nyoman Mantik Astawa, I. Made Kardena, I. Nengah Wandia, I. Gede Soma, Fany Brotcorne, Agustin Fuentes

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    Background and Aim: Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a zoonotic infectious inflammatory brain disease caused by the JE virus (JEV). Considerable research into the seroprevalence of JE in domestic animals has been conducted, but there have been no reports of its occurrence in wild animals, including long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). This study aimed to estimate the seroprevalence of JEV infection and its determinants in long-tailed macaques in Bali and the prevalence of mosquito vectors. Materials and Methods: Blood samples (3 mL) were collected from a population of M. fascicularis (92 heads) inhabiting a small forest with irrigated rice field nearby (wetland area) in Ubud, Gianyar, and from two populations in dryland areas with no wet rice field (Uluwatu, Badung, and Nusa Penida, Bali Province, Indonesia). The collected sera were tested for antibodies against JEV using a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit (qualitative monkey JE Immunoglobulin G antibody kit). The seropositivity of the antibodies was then compared based on different variables, namely, habitat type, age, and sex. Results: The seroprevalence of the JEV antibodies in all the samples tested was found to be 41.3%. The seropositivity of the monkey serum samples collected from the wetland area was 46.4%, which was higher than the seropositivity of the sera samples collected from the dried field areas (1.25%). Monkey sera collected from the wetland areas were 6.1 times (odds ratio [OR]: 6.1; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.71-51.5, p>0.05) more likely to be seropositive compared to the monkey sera collected from the dried field areas. Meanwhile, female monkeys were 1.79 times (OR: 1.79; 95% CI: 0.76-4.21; p>0.05) more likely to be seropositive to JEV than males. Similarly, juvenile monkeys were 2.38 times (OR: 2.38; 95% CI: 0.98-5.79); p>0.05) more likely to be seropositive against the JEV than adult monkeys. However, none of these differences achieved statistical significance. Regarding the JEV mosquito vector collection, more Culex mosquitoes were found in the samples from the wetland areas than from the dried field areas. Conclusion: The study confirms the existence of JEV infection in long-tailed macaques in Bali. There were patterned seropositivity differences based on habitat, age, and sex of the monkeys, but these were not significant. The possibility of monkeys as a JEV reservoir and the presence of the mosquitoes as the JEV vector are suggested but require more study to confirm.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1341-1346
    Number of pages6
    JournalVeterinary World
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - May 2022

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • General Veterinary


    • Japanese encephalitis virus
    • Macaca fascicularis
    • enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
    • seroprevalence


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