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J Clin Microbiol. 2009 Sep;47(9):2826-33. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00507-09. Epub 2009 Jul 22.

Epidemiology of enterovirus 71 in the Netherlands, 1963 to 2008.

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National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, RIVM, P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


The incidence of enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection has greatly increased in the Asian Pacific region since 1997. Several large outbreaks, caused by different subgenogroups of EV71, occurred with high rates of morbidity and a substantial number of deaths. In 2007, 58 cases of EV71 infection requiring hospitalization were reported in The Netherlands after a period of low endemicity of 21 years. These events triggered a study on the epidemiology of EV71 in The Netherlands. Genetic analysis of the VP1 capsid region of 199 EV71 isolates collected from 1963 to 2008 as part of enterovirus surveillance activities revealed a change in the prevailing subgenogroups over time. From 1963 to 1986 infections were caused by three different and successive lineages belonging to subgenogroup B (the novel lineage designated B0, as well as B1 and B2). In 1987, following a major epidemic the previous year, the B genogroup was replaced by genogroup C strains of lineages C1 and, later, C2. Analyses of the clinical data suggested that there were differences between infection with genogroup B and with genogroup C strains in terms of the age groups affected and the severity of illness. From comparative analysis with genomic data available in the public domain, we concluded that EV71 strain evolution shows a global pattern, which leads to the question of whether the recently emerged C4 lineage strains will also spread outside of Asia.

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