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Med Mal Infect. 2010 Apr;40(4):212-8. doi: 10.1016/j.medmal.2009.09.006.

[Enteroviruses responsible for acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis].

[Article in French]

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EA4303 / IFR53, laboratoire de virologie médicale et moléculaire, faculté de médecine, CHU de Reims, avenue Koenig, 51100 Reims, France.


Acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) is an epidemic form of highly contagious conjunctivitis, characterized by conjunctival hemorrhages. The first AHC outbreak was described in 1969 in Ghana, West Africa, and was called Apollo disease, from the Apollo landing on the moon. This outbreak was caused by Enterovirus 70 (EV70) together with a Coxsackievirus A24 (CVA24v) variant, which are the major etiological agents involved in AHC outbreaks worldwide. AHC is known to be directly transmitted by close person-to-person contact or indirectly through soiled ophthalmological materials or unsafe recreational water. Recently, a possible airborne virus spread was suggested which could explain the high transmission rate of the disease. In the absence of a specific antiviral therapy, a rapid diagnosis of the causative agent is required to distinguish AHC due to enteroviruses from other ocular infectious diseases, for there are active drugs, or to quickly implement proper public health measures to limit the extension of the outbreak. However, virus identification remains difficult and time-consuming. Moreover, virological diagnosis is difficult to implement in developing countries where AHC has recently become a major problem for public health.

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