In total, 22,846 (17,793 culicines and 5,053 Anopheles spp.) female mosquitoes were captured by a Mosquito Magnet trap at Daeseongdong, a small village adjacent to the military demarcation line (center of the demilitarized zone) in northern Gyeonggi Province, Republic of Korea (ROK). Culicine mosquitoes were identified to species, placed in pools of up to 30 mosquitoes each, and screened for flavivirus using a SYBR Green I-based real-time polymerase chain reaction. In total, 51/660 pools positive for flaviviruses and confirmed by DNA sequencing of the NS5 region, were positive for Japanese encephalitis virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, JEV) (50 Culex tritaeniorhynchus Giles and one Culex bitaeniorhynchus Giles). The JEV maximum likelihood estimations (MLEs) (estimated number of viral RNA-positive mosquitoes per 1,000) for Cx. tritaeniorhynchus and Cx. bitaeniorhynchus were 9.7 and 0.9, respectively. This is the first report of a Cx. bitaeniorhynchus positive for JEV in the ROK. JEV is a local civilian and military health threat and a significant concern for nonimmune (unvaccinated) U.S. soldiers, civilians, and family members deployed to the ROK.
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Vol. 48 • No. 6