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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012, Article ID 890586, 7 pages
Review Article

The Involvement of Microglial Cells in Japanese Encephalitis Infections

1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
2Molecular Pathology Laboratory, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, Mahidol University, Nakorn Pathom 73170, Thailand
3Center for Emerging and Neglected Infectious Diseases, Mahidol University, Nakorn Pathom 73170, Thailand

Received 4 April 2012; Revised 11 July 2012; Accepted 12 July 2012

Academic Editor: Mark Wilson

Copyright © 2012 Thananya Thongtan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Despite the availability of effective vaccines, Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infections remain a leading cause of encephalitis in many Asian countries. The virus is transmitted to humans by Culex mosquitoes, and, while the majority of human infections are asymptomatic, up to 30% of JE cases admitted to hospital die and 50% of the survivors suffer from neurological sequelae. Microglia are brain-resident macrophages that play key roles in both the innate and adaptive immune responses in the CNS and are thus of importance in determining the pathology of encephalitis as a result of JEV infection.