On December 2, 2023, FPJ hosted the “JEV Global Network Symposium: Uniting for a JEV-Free Future” at the Nihonbashi Life Science Hub with support from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and the Embassy of France to Japan. The symposium aimed to cultivate a global alliance against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) and brought together experts based in Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and Cambodia to discuss the latest developments in their respective countries.
The symposium started with a lecture by Dr. Gregor Deivine, Associate Professor and Group Leader of the Mosquito Control Laboratory at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. Dr. Devine spoke about the rapid expansion of JEV in Australia during 2022 and ongoing research in the region. The session was followed by a talk by Dr. Sebastien Boyer, Head of Medical and Veterinary Entomology Unit at the Institut Pasteur du Cambodge on the situation in Cambodia. Dr. Boyer gave a brief history of arboviruses in Cambodia before delving into the challenges faced across JEV in Cambodia and their vectors.
Next, Dr. Satoru Arai, Senior Researcher at the Center for Surveillance, Immunization, and Epidemiologic Research within the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, gave a lecture on JEV in Japan. He shared about the surveillance system in Japan for vaccine-preventable diseases before discussing routine immunization and JEV prevalence in recent years. His talk was followed by Dr. Nimesh Gupta, Chief of the Vaccine Immunology Laboratory at the National Institute of Immunology of India. Dr. Gupta presented about the status of JEV in India, with the first presence discovered in the 1950s, before discussing vaccine development and coverage in the country. He concluded with the need for better vaccines along with improved surveillance and global coordination.
The event concluded with lectures from Dr. Dimitri Lavillette, Chief Scientific Officer of the Institut Pasteur Korea, and Dr. Kiyosu Taniguchi, Director of the Mie National Hospital. Dr. Lavillette spoke on the history of JEV in Korea before the ZIKA NS5 protein and sumoylation. Dr. Taniguchi shared about the historical review of JEV in Japan along with the identification of the routes of transmission.
After the symposium, a closed roundtable discussion was held along with Dr. Hajime Kamiya of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and FPJ’s executive chair, Dr. Anavaj Sakuntabhai.