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Human enteroviruses (EV) and parechoviruses (HPeV) within the family Picornaviridae are the most common causes of viral central nervous system (CNS)-associated infections including meningitis and neonatal sepsis-like disease. The frequencies of EV and HPeV types identified in clinical specimens collected in Scotland over an eight-year period were compared to those identified in sewage surveillance established in Edinburgh. Of the 35 different EV types belonging to four EV species (A to D) and the four HPeV types detected in this study, HPeV3 was identified as the most prevalent picornavirus in cerebrospinal fluid samples, followed by species B EV. Interestingly, over half of EV and all HPeV CNS-associated infections were observed in young infants (younger than three months). Detection of species A EV including coxsackievirus A6 and EV71 in clinical samples and sewage indicates that these viruses are already widely circulating in Scotland. Furthermore, species C EV were frequently identified EV in sewage screening but they were not present in any of 606 EV-positive clinical samples studied, indicating their likely lower pathogenicity. Picornavirus surveillance is important not only for monitoring the changing epidemiology of these infections but also for the rapid identification of spread of emerging EV and/or HPeV types.

Original publication

DOI

10.2807/1560-7917.es2014.19.15.20772

Type

Journal article

Journal

Euro Surveill

Publication Date

17/04/2014

Volume

19

Keywords

Central Nervous System Infections, Cerebrospinal Fluid, Enterovirus, Feces, Humans, Parechovirus, Phylogeny, Picornaviridae Infections, Prevalence, RNA, Viral, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Scotland, Sentinel Surveillance, Sepsis, Sequence Analysis, DNA, Serotyping, Sewage, Specimen Handling, United Kingdom