Enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68) in pediatric patients with respiratory infection: The circulation of a new B3 clade in Italy

Antonio Piralla, Nicola Principi, Luca Ruggiero, Alessia Girello, Federica Giardina, Elisabetta De Sando, Silvia Caimmi, Sonia Bianchini, Gian Luigi Marseglia, Giovanna Lunghi, Fausto Baldanti, Susanna Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background In recent years, several outbreaks due to Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68) have been reported, and it was confirmed that the virus can cause upper and lower respiratory tract diseases and be associated with the development of neurological problems. Objectives The main aim of this research was to study the genetic characteristics of EV-D68 strains that were circulating in Italy identified during an outbreak of an EV-D68 infection that occurred in Italy during the period March-October 2016. Study design A retrospective study of the circulation of different types and subtypes of EV-D68 was performed. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from March 2016 through October 2016 in children admitted to the Emergency Room with respiratory diseases. Results Among 390 children, 22 (59.1% males; mean age 47 months) were found to be infected by EV-D68 and most of them were immunocompetent (72.7%). Pneumonia was diagnosed in 12 (54.5%) children. Phylogenetic analysis of the VP1 region showed that all the strains identified in this study belonged to clade B3. Within B3 subclade, the Italian EV-D68 strains were most closely related to strains detected in Southern China in 2015 as well as to strains detected in US and the Netherlands in 2016. Conclusions These results showed that EV-D68 infections are a common cause of lower respiratory illness in pediatric age. The circulation of one EV-D68 lineage has been proven in Italy and in the European region during 2016. However, further studies are required to investigate whether some strains or lineages may possess a higher affinity for the lower airway or central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Enterovirus-D68
  • EV-D68
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Pediatric infectious disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Enterovirus-D68 (EV-D68) in pediatric patients with respiratory infection: The circulation of a new B3 clade in Italy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this