Echovirus 18 (E18), a serotype of Enterovirus B (EV-B) species, is an important pathogen in aseptic meningitis. E18 had rarely been detected in mainland China, but became the predominant pathogen associated with viral encephalitis (VE) and meningitis in Hebei province for the first time in 2015. To investigate the molecular epidemiology and genetic characteristics of E18 in mainland China, sixteen E18 strains from patient throat swabs with hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) in six provinces in China collected between 2015 and 2016, and four E18 strains isolated from 18 patient cerebrospinal fluid specimens with VE in Hebei Province in 2015 were obtained and sequenced. Combined with the sequences from the GenBank database, we performed an extensive genetic analysis. Phylogenetic analysis of VP1 gene sequences revealed that all E18 strains from mainland China after 2015 belonged to subgenotype C2. There were no obvious specific differences in phylogenetic and variation analyses of E18 genome sequences between HFMD and VE/meningitis strains. Potential multiple recombination may have occurred in the 5′-untranslated region and in the P2 and P3 nonstructural protein-encoding regions of E18 strains from China. The current E18 strains were potential multiple-recombinant viruses. Overall, these findings supported that E18 caused HFMD, VE, and meningitis, although there were no significant associations between clinical features and viral genomic characteristics.
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This work was supported by the National Science and Technology Major Project of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant Nos. 2017ZX10104001-005-010 and 2017ZX10103004-004); Beijing Natural Science Foundation (Grant No. 7184208); Capital Clinical Feature Project of Beijing Technology Program (Grant No. Z151100004015046); Basic and Clinical Research Cooperation Project of Capital Medical University (Grant No. 17JL11); and Research Training Fund of Capital Medical University (Grant No. PYZ2017012). The sponsors had no role in the study design, data analysis, manuscript preparation, or publishing decision.
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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Animal and Human Rights Statement
The study was approved by the Medical Ethics Committee of Beijing Children’s Hospital, Capital Medical University (Permit No. 2015-8). Informed consents were obtained from legal guardians of all patients prior to the collection of CSF and throat swab samples.
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Chen, X., Ji, T., Guo, J. et al. Molecular Epidemiology of Echovirus 18 Circulating in Mainland China from 2015 to 2016. Virol. Sin. 34, 50–58 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12250-018-0080-8
- Genetic characteristics
- Echovirus 18 (E18)