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Enteroviruses (EVs) cause severe outbreaks of respiratory and neurological disease as illustrated by EV-D68 and EV-A71 outbreaks, respectively. We have mapped European laboratory capacity for identification and characterisation of non-polio EVs to improve preparedness to respond to (re)-emerging EVs linked to severe disease. An online questionnaire on non-polio EV surveillance and laboratory detection was submitted to all 30 European Union (EU)/European Economic Area (EEA) countries. Twenty-nine countries responded; 26 conducted laboratory-based non-polio EV surveillance, and 24 included neurological infections in their surveillance. Eleven countries have established specific surveillance for EV-D68 via sentinel influenza surveillance (n = 7), typing EV-positive respiratory samples (n = 10) and/or acute flaccid paralysis surveillance (n = 5). Of 26 countries performing non-polio EV characterisation/typing, 10 further characterised culture-positive EV isolates, whereas the remainder typed PCR-positive but culture-negative samples. Although 19 countries have introduced sequence-based EV typing, seven still rely entirely on virus isolation. Based on 2015 data, six countries typed over 300 specimens mostly by sequencing, whereas 11 countries characterised under 50 EV-positive samples. EV surveillance activity varied between EU/EEA countries, and did not always specifically target patients with neurological and/or respiratory infections. Introduction of sequence-based typing methods is needed throughout the EU/EEA to enhance laboratory capacity for the detection of EVs.


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