Epidemiologic and Molecular Study of EVs in Hospitalized Children With Severe Acute Respiratory Infection

Laura Pellegrinelli, Sara Colonia Uceda Renteria, Cristina Galli, Letizia Greco, Valeria Primache, Giovanna Lunghi, Sandro Binda, Elena Pariani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: To evaluate the enterovirus (EV)-positivity rate in respiratory samples collected from children ≤15 years hospitalized with severe acute respiratory infections (SARIs) and to describe the epidemiologic and molecular characteristics of EVs. METHODS: Respiratory samples were collected from 2468 children hospitalized with SARI at a university and research hospital in Milan (September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2017). EV and EV-D68 RNA were detected using a commercial multiplex and a specific real-time RT-PCR assay, respectively. The EV-D68-negative samples were then characterized by partial sequencing of the VP1 gene. RESULTS: EV-RNA was detected in 9% (222/2468) of SARI cases, 77% were children ≤3 years, almost 13% of whom required intensive care. EVs circulated all-year-round in 2 distinct epidemic waves (May-August and November-December). An EV-D68 outbreak, responsible for 14.8% of EV-positive-SARIs, occurred in 2016 and 5 newly emerging EV types were identified. Twenty-two EV types were detected and remarkable heterogeneity was observed in species distribution and between different pediatric age groups. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that EV-positivity rate for our SARI series was 9%. The molecular detection and characterization of EVs allowed for the rapid detection of an EV-D68 outbreak and revealed the presence of emerging EV types that may pose a public health threat. The lack of routine screening and EV characterization in respiratory tract infections hampers the assessment of their epidemiologic and molecular features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1141-1146
Number of pages6
JournalThe Pediatric infectious disease journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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