One health approach to Japanese encephalitis and zoonotic arboviruses in PNG - ZAPPA

What we aim to achieve:  

One health surveillance strategies for Japanese encephalitis and zoonotic arboviruses (insect-borne diseases that affect both animals and people) in Papua New Guinea, and policy options for key health system supports.

How we will achieve it:  

By enabling partnerships between public health and veterinary organisations and agencies in Pupua New Guinea.


  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)
  • James Cook University, Australia
  • Burnet Institute, Australia
  • Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research
  • Papua New Guinea National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority
  • Divine Word University, Papua New Guinea
  • Papua New Guinea Central Public Health Laboratory.


Papua New Guinea

Funding: $250,000 co-funded by ACIAR and DFAT.

Japanese encephalitis virus (JE) is the most important cause of human viral encephalitis in Southeast Asia. Even though an effective vaccine is available to prevent JE, approximately 67,000 human cases occur annually worldwide. The JE virus is mosquito-borne, and pigs and waterbirds act as amplifying hosts. JE disease mainly affects rural communities, with highest rates of disease in children. It is endemic in Papua New Guinea.

This project will seek to address a major gap in environmental surveillance of vertebrate hosts and mosquito vectors of zoonotic arboviruses of public health concern. They will adopt a One Health approach to enable partnership and linkage between public health and veterinary organisations and agencies in Papua New Guinea.

The key objectives of the project are to:

  • Strengthen vector-borne disease surveillance and response systems to allow rapid identification and containment of outbreaks, resurgence and resistance; and
  • Develop policy options for key health system supports to respond to febrile illness and avert antimicrobial resistance.


The key activities are:

  • Evaluate current methods to detect zoonotic arboviruses in the field and in the laboratory, and build capacity where gaps are identified.
  • Establish pilot surveillance activities at selected sites using one or a combination of sentinel animal (pigs, chickens) and mosquito trapping methods.
  • Establish and develop linkages and coordination between human and animal health agencies.

Chief Investigator: 

Dr David Williams (CSIRO-AAHL)