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A novel method to diagnose the infection of enterovirus A71 in children by detecting IgA from saliva.

Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) is one of the main pathogens causing hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), and often causes diseases of the central nervous system. Early diagnosis is important to prevent EV-A71 outbreaks. The detection of serum immunoglobulin (Ig) M is widely used for the early diagnosis of EV-A71 in clinics, especially in rural areas. However, this technique requires the extraction of blood from children who have thin blood vessels and who might fear the use of needles. Therefore, difficulties in the detection process are often encountered. This study developed a noninvasive method to detect EV-A71-specific immunoglobulin (Ig) A in saliva for the diagnosis of EV-A71 infection. The sensitivity and specificity of IgA detection did not differ significantly compared with IgM detection. IgA antibodies were present in saliva for a relatively shorter period than IgM antibodies were present in serum. The sensitivity of IgA detection was higher than that of IgM detection for secondary EV-A71 infections. These results suggest that the detection of EV-A71-specific IgA in the saliva allows the effective early diagnosis of EV-A71 and may be suitable for detecting EV-A71 infections in children. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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