Seroprevalence of human enterovirus 71 and coxsackievirus A16 in Guangdong, China, in pre- and post-2010 HFMD epidemic period

Wei Li, Lina Yi, Juan Su, Jing Lu, Changwen Ke, Hanri Zeng, Dawei Guan, Cong Ma, Wanly Zhang, Hong Xiao, Hui Li, Jinyan Lin, Yonghui Zhang
PloS One 2013, 8 (12): e80515

BACKGROUND: Human Enterovirus 71 and Coxsackie A16 have caused many outbreaks in the last decade in mainland China, resulting in thousands of fatal cases. Seroepidemiology which provides important information to document population immunity is rare in China.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A cross sectional study of Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and Coxsackie A16 (CA16) seroprevalence was carried out in Guangdong, China, pre- and post- the 2010 hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) epidemic period. The levels of EV71 and CA16 specific antibodies were evaluated by a microneutralization test and the geometric mean titer (GMT) was calculated and compared. Our results indicated frequent infection by EV71 and CA16 in Guangdong before the 2010 epidemic. Only EV71 neutralizing antibody but not CA16 seroprevalence was significantly increased after the 2010 HFMD epidemic. Children less than 3 years old especially those aged 2 years showed the lowest positive rates for EV71 and CA16 NA before epidemic and the most significantly increased EV71 seroprevalence after epidemic. CA16 GMT values declined after the 2010 epidemic.

CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate EV71 was the major pathogen of HFMD in Guangdong during the 2010 epidemic. The infection occurs largely in children less than 3 years, who should have first priority to receive an EV71 vaccine.

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