Background. Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a zoonotic, mosquito-borne flavivirus, distributed across Asia. Infections are mostly mild or asymptomatic, but symptoms include neurological disorders, sequelae, and fatalities. Data to inform control strategies are limited due to incomplete case reporting. Methods. We used JEV serological data from a multicountry Asian dengue vaccine study in children aged 2-14 years to describe JEV endemicity, measuring antibodies by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT50). Results. A total 1479 unvaccinated subjects were included. A minimal estimate of pediatric JEV seroprevalence in dengue-naive individuals was 8.1% in Indonesia, 5.8% in Malaysia, 10.8% in the Philippines, and 30.7% in Vietnam, translating to annual infection risks varying from 0.8% (in Malaysia) to 5.2% (in Vietnam). JEV seroprevalence and annual infection estimates were much higher in children with history of dengue infection, indicating cross-neutralization within the JEV PRNT50 assay. Conclusions. These data confirm JEV transmission across predominantly urban areas and support a greater emphasis on JEV case finding, diagnosis, and prevention.
- seroepidemiologic studies