Whole genome sequencing study of the Enterovirus D68 detected in hospitalized children in Hong Kong with serious respiratory disease
Refereed conference paper presented and published in conference proceedings


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AbstractBackground: Human enterovirus 68 (EV-D68) has re-caught the public concern until it caused a nationwide outbreak among children from mid-August 2014 to January 2015 in the United States. This EV-D68 is associated with severe respiratory illness in children whom had asthma or a history of wheezing, with sporadic cases with acute flaccid myelitis in 2014. Since then, the laboratory confirmed case of EV-D68 has become low again. EV-D68 was first isolated in California, from four American children with respiratory illness. Its disease spectrum ranges from asymptomatic to severe respiratory complications and in rare instances, subsequent death. It belongs to the family Picornaviridae and the genus Enterovirus, a member of D species. In the US, there is a National Enterovirus Surveillance System since the 1960s, however, in Hong Kong, the surveillance system of such is lacking. In addition, the whole genome data of EV-D68 is limited. With the effort of screening through 6,800 nasopharyngeal aspirate (NPA) sample from 2010-2014 by a local group, a 0.44% (n=30) positive rate was found in two regional hospitals on Hong Kong Island.

Aim: Our study aims to extend the EV-D68 surveillance in the in-patient settings in the two major hospitals in the East New Territories with a catchment of 1.5M population and 11.7% are under 17 years old. This will allow a better understanding of the molecular epidemiology of EV-D68 strains in Hong Kong.

Methods: NPA samples collected in September 2014 to December 2015 from in-patient under 17 years old were retrospectively examined. Samples which were PCR screened to be enterovirus positive were further genotyped by PCR of the VP4/VP2 region followed by Sanger sequencing. Nucleotide sequences with published EV-D68 sequences were aligned using Clustal Omega and phylogenetic trees were generated by MEGA software using the neighbor-joining method with a reliability with 1,000 bootstrap replications.

Results and Discussion: Within the 10,529 NPA collected from hospitalized children, 23.3% (n=2,457) of them were positive with an enterovirus in the regular diagnostic testing. 1,033 (42%) underwent genotyping and fifteen EV-D68 were identified followed by full genome sequencing. The EV-D68 viruses detected in the winter of 2015 showed high similarity with the published strains from Southern China, Taiwan and Japan during a similar study period.
All Author(s) ListHaichao Wang, Zigui Chen, Kin-Pong Tao, Paul KS Chan, TF Leung, RWY Chan
Name of Conference13th Congress of the Asian Society for Pediatric Research
Start Date of Conference06/10/2017
End Date of Conference08/10/2017
Place of ConferenceHong Kong
Country/Region of ConferenceHong Kong
Year2017
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom

Last updated on 2018-11-05 at 14:23