J Vet Sci.  2019 Nov;20(6):e65. 10.4142/jvs.2019.20.e65.

Co-infection of Dirofilaria immitis and Japanese encephalitis virus in a spotted seal (Phoca largha) in the Republic of Korea

  • 1Animal Disease Diagnostic Division, Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, Gimcheon 39660, Korea. choiej@korea.kr
  • 2Foreign Animal Disease Division, Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, Gimcheon 39660, Korea.
  • 3Onnury Animal Clinic, Suncheon 57949, Korea.
  • 4College of Veterinary Medicine, Jeju National University, Jeju 63243, Korea.


A 10-year-old male spotted seal presented with loss of appetite and decreased activity. Grossly, the internal organs revealed several filarial nematodes in the right ventricle of the heart and the pulmonary vessels. Histopathological examination of the brain revealed moderate nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis with glial nodules and neuronophagia. Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) of genotype I was isolated from the brain. All nematodes were identified as Dirofilaria immitis. This is the first clinical case of co-infection with D. immitis and JEV in a seal, suggesting that the seal, may be a dead-end host, like the human and horse, for JEV.


Dirofilaria immitis; Japanese encephalitis virus; spotted seal
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