Japanese encephalitis (previously known as Japanese B encephalitis to distinguish it from von Economo's A encephalitis) is a disease caused by the mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus. The Japanese encephalitis virus is a virus from the family Flaviviridae. Domestic pigs and wild birds are reservoirs of the virus; transmission to humans may cause severe symptoms. One of the most important vectors of this disease is the mosquito ''Culex tritaeniorhynchus''. This disease is most prevalent in Southeast Asia and the Far East.
Since the onset of the CRISPR genetic editing revolution, scientists have been working to leverage the technology in the development of gene drives that target pathogen-spreading mosquitoes such as Anopheles and Aedes species, which spread malaria, dengue and other life-threatening diseases.
A clinical case of Japanese encephalitis is diagnosed in over 68,000 individuals every year, leading to the death of one in four of these affected patients.