Japanese encephalitis virus infection in its natural amplification and reservoir host, the pig -Immune responses in an asymptomatic host

Redant, Valerie
Faculteit Diergeneeskunde
Vakgroep Translationele Fysiologie, Infectiologie en Volksgezondheid
Valerie Redant was born on December 30th, 1991 in Zottegem. In 2009 she finished her secondary school studies Economics-languages at the OLVC college Grotenberge. Despite the absence of extensive scientific courses, the passion to now how diseases develop on a molecular level was too big. In 2009 she started studying biomedical sciences at the faculty of medicine and health sciences at Ghent University. Still intrigued by the immune system in health and disease, she choose the major immunology and infection during her masters. During the research conducted for her thesis, she investigated the role of innate-like T cells such as iNKT, MAIT and γδ T cellen in spondyloarthritis. In 2015 she obtained her degree and subsequently started working in 2016 as a laboratory technician at CODA-CERVA in the unit Enzorem. After three months a position was offered as research associate and in 2017 she accepted a PhD to study the immune response in pigs following a Japanese encephalitis virus infection. This research was funded by the federal public service Health, food chain safety and environment (RF17/6319 and RF18/6329). Valerie is author and co-author of several publications in international peer-reviewed journals and gave presentations at national and international conferences.
Academische graad
Doctor in de diergeneeskundige wetenschappen
Taal proefschrift
Prof dr. Nick De Regge, Sciensano, Brussels - Prof. dr. Herman W. Favoreel, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UGent

Korte beschrijving

Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. In humans the disease can cause such significant disease that out of the severe ill patients, up to 30% succumb to the infection. Furthermore, neurologic sequelae are very frequent and occur in up to 50% of the clinical cases. JEV is usually transmitted by mosquitoes and its two most important natural hosts are pigs and water birds. Both of these organisms are of utmost importance in the transmission cycle of the virus since a high viremia can be reached that is needed to successfully infect other feeding mosquitoes. Observations in pigs show that these animals only experience mild symptoms and that no mortality is observed upon infection although still births and abortions in sows and non-suppurative encephalitis in piglets do occur. These two findings make the pig a very interesting host to study JEV infections in order to uncover as to why pigs do not experience such deleterious events. It has furthermore also been shown that JEV can be found at high viral titers in the tonsils of pigs till at least 25 days after infection. This means that the pig represents an important reservoir for JEV. In addition, vector-free transmission has been discovered in pigs which might even enhance the spread of the virus in intense pig farming areas and subsequently the spread to humans living in these areas. Despite these facts, research executed in this host are almost non-existent and this dissertation is the first step into clarifying the events that occur following a JEV infection.


Donderdag 16 juni 2022, 16:30
Diergeneeskunde Aud Maximum, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke

If you would like to attend, please register before June 9th, by email to Valerie.redant@ugent.be