Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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Enterovirus (EV) 71 has emerged as a primary cause of severe neurologic enterovirus infection in the aftermath of the global polio eradication effort. Eleven subgenotypes of EV71 exist, the C4 subgenotype being associated with large outbreaks in Asia with high mortality rates. This subgenotype has rarely been reported in Europe. In the period between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2013 a total of 1,447 EV positive samples from 1,143 individuals were sent to the Statens Serum Institute (SSI), and 938 samples from 913 patients were genotyped at the Danish National World Health Organization Reference laboratory for Poliovirus at SSI. Echovirus 6 (E06) (n=141 patients), echovirus 30 (E30) (n=114), coxsackievirus A6 (CA06) (n=96) and EV71 (n=63) were the most prevalent genotypes. We observed a shift in circulating EV71 subgenotypes during the study period, with subgenotype C4 dominating in 2012. A total of 34 EV71 patients were found to be infected with strains of the C4 subgenotype, and phylogenetic analysis revealed that they belonged to the C4a lineage. In our study, the proportions of cases with cerebral and/or sepsis-like symptoms were similar in those affected by C4a (19/34) and those with C1 and C2 (15/35). The majority (n=30) of the 34 EV71 C4 cases were children ≤5 years of age, and males (n=22) were over-represented. Continued EV surveillance is required to monitor the spread of EV71 C4 in Denmark and the rest of Europe.


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