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Adult Culex tritaenorhynchus
Adult Culex tritaenorhynchus 
This section provides information on one of the nine zoonotic diseases which have been identified by a experts in a national consultation organised by RCZI in June, 2008  as focus or priority diseases for the next five years.

Japanese encephalitis is a mosquito-borne viral infection of birds, horses, pigs and humans. This virus can also infect other domesticated animals including cattle, sheep, goats, dogs and cats, as well as wild mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds; these infections are typically asymptomatic. In countries where it is endemic, this virus causes reproductive losses in swine and encephalitis in horses. Birds serve as important reservoir hosts.

In humans, Japanese encephalitis can be a very serious disease: although most infections are asymptomatic, clinical cases tend to manifest as severe, often fatal encephalitis. Epidemics, which occur periodically in endemic regions, can cause significant morbidity and mortality in unvaccinated humans (case fatality rate of nearly 30%) and animals. Sporadic cases also
In1998-2004, JE was reported from 15 states and Union Territories in India 
In1998-2004, JE was reported from 15 states and Union Territories in India 
occur in susceptible humans and animals throughout the mosquito season.

Japanese encephalitis virus is usually transmitted by mosquitoes in the genus Culex. The specific mosquito vectors vary with the region; however, Culex tritaeniorhynchus is important in spreading this virus to humans and domesticated animals across a wide geographic range. C. tritaeniorhynchus breeds in rice paddies and connecting canals, and is active at twilight.

JE was first recorded in Vellore and Pondicherry in the mid 1950’s and the first major outbreak occurred in 1973 in Bankura and Burdwan districts of West Bengal before spreading to other states. The Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) is the nodal agency responsible for controlling and preventing JE in the country. From 2568 cases reported and 707 deaths reported in 2003, the numbers have gone up to 3473 cases and 511 deaths in 2009

Researchers   Global Situation Researchers   Regional/ India Situation

World Health Organization - Main  

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
WHO South east Asia regional

Japanese encephalitis. World Health Organization India Country Office, 2005.

National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme

Researchers   Public Health Measures Researchers   Animal Health
WHO–recommended standards for surveillance of selected vaccine-preventable Diseases. WHO 2003

World Health Organization – vaccine safety and development information

Zoonotic diseases of public health importance. Zoonoses Division. National Institute of Communicable Diseases. New Delhi. 2006

Guidelines for Prevention and Control of Japanese encephalitis. Zoonoses Division. National Institute of Communicable Diseases. New Delhi. 2006


Fast facts on Japanese encephalitis

Comprehensive information

Control and trade recommendations

Diagnostic manual

Researchers   Recent Publications and Reviews Researchers   Confirmed and Suspected Outbreaks of Leptospirosis

Current published research on Japanese encephalitis  

Erlanger TE et al. Past, Present, and Future of Japanese Encephalitis. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2009; 15(1):1-7

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