|Status||Funding awarded/in set-up|
Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus causes brain swelling, mostly in children in Asia. It is transmitted
by mosquitoes. It is a member of a family of important viruses, including yellow fever, dengue and
Zika virus. The body responds to viruses by making antibodies to protect against them. For this
family of viruses, antibodies against one virus can cross-react with another virus, because they are
all similar. Surprisingly, this cross-reaction can make your second virus infection worse. This is a
particular problem with dengue. However, the cross-reaction can also sometimes be helpful.
Studying cross-reactions where these viruses naturally occur is difficult, because you cannot tell
which virus you had first. This Fellowship uses a new way of getting round this problem. I will give a
live JE vaccine to people in the UK. This is because the body makes antibodies to a live vaccine
just like it does to a real infection. I will test antibodies to JE vaccine in two groups:
1). People never exposed to these viruses.
2). People who have had yellow fever vaccine before. (Which also counts as an infection.)
The aim is to identify helpful cross-reactions, but minimise the harmful cross-reaction at the same