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A large Finnish echovirus 30 outbreak was preceded by silent circulation of the same genotype

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An outbreak of echovirus 30 (E-30) in 2009 was confirmed by both frequent isolation of the virus from sewage as well as from patient samples in Finland. Over the last 10 years E-30 had only been isolated sporadically in Finland. We here study the phylogenetic relationships of the strains from the outbreak in the context of E-30 circulation over the last 20 years. The analyzed region comprised 276 nucleotides in the 5′ end of VP1 (nucleotides 132–407 in the VP1 of the E-30 Bastianni strain). The Finnish strains were clustered into at least four distinct genogroups, with seven clusters exceeding the genotype demarcation of 12% and the 2009 epidemic strains forming the largest genogroup VII. Moreover, we detected largely divergent genotypes in 2007 and 2009. Interestingly, close genetic relatives of the epidemic strains had already been isolated a few years before the outbreak. Phylodynamic analysis estimated 8.9 years (95% highest posterior density intervals 7.0–11.0) as the age of genogroup VII, indicating a probable origin and evolutionary history prior to its introduction and epidemic expansion in Finland. Finally, the most recent common ancestor for the current E-30 diversity dates back to 1939 (95% highest posterior density intervals 1913–1956).

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The study was supported by grants from the Academy of Finland, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation. Most of the isolated echovirus strains were derived from poliovirus surveillance projects supported by WHO (TSA 18/181/526). Dr Eeva Ruotsalainen, Helsinki University Central Hospital, is thanked for sending specimens. Mervi Eskelinen, Päivi Hirttiö, Alena Kaijalainen, Elisa Lamminsalo, Marja-Liisa Ollonen, and Eija Penttilä are acknowledged for excellent technical assistance. PL is supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Fund for Scientific Research (FWO), Flanders.

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Correspondence to Carita Savolainen-Kopra.

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Savolainen-Kopra, C., Paananen, A., Blomqvist, S. et al. A large Finnish echovirus 30 outbreak was preceded by silent circulation of the same genotype. Virus Genes 42, 28–36 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11262-010-0536-x

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  • Echovirus 30
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Phylodynamic analysis