Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background: Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) represents a substantial disease burden in the Western Pacific region. We investigated the spectrum of causative enteroviruses of HFMD, and evaluated different clinical samples' diagnostic yield for enteroviruses. Methods: We enrolled pediatric patients hospitalized for HFMD among 6 hospitals in Anhua County, Hunan Province, China between October 2013 and September 2016. Throat swabs and stool samples (or rectal swabs) were collected to detect the enterovirus serotypes by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or nested PCR. Results: Among the 2836 patients, only 1 developed severe illness. Seventeen serotypes were identified in 2401 patients (85%), with the most frequently detected being CV-A16 (29% [814]), CV-A6 (28% [784]), EV-A71 (17% [491]), CV-A10 (4% [114]), and CV-A4 (2% [53]). Children were younger in CV-A6, CV-A10, and CV-A4 infections (median, 12 months; interquartile range [IQR], 12-24 months) than EV-A71 and CV-A16 infections (median, 24 months; IQR, 12-36 months; P < .05). The predominant enterovirus serotype shifted between CV-A16 and CV-A6 during the 3 years. Stool had a higher diagnostic yield (89%) than rectal (77%) and throat swabs (74%). Detection rates reached 93% when testing stools followed by throat swabs if stools were negative, and 89% when testing rectal swabs followed by throat swabs if rectal swabs were negative. Conclusions: Our results provide a virological benchmark for future surveillance and diagnostics. Continuous comprehensive virological surveillance is essential, especially after implementation of the EV-A71 vaccine in China, to monitor serotype replacement and the vaccine's impact.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Infect Dis

Publication Date





1729 - 1735


Child, Preschool, China, Enterovirus, Enterovirus Infections, Feces, Female, Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, Hospitalization, Humans, Infant, Male, Pharynx, RNA, Viral, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction, Serogroup