BACKGROUND : Human enteroviruses (EV) have been associated with severe acute respiratory
illness (SARI) in South Africa.
OBJECTIVES : We aimed to describe the molecular epidemiology of EV serotypes among
patients hospitalized with SARI during 2009-2011.
PATIENTS/METHODS : Study samples from patients were tested for the presence of enterovirus
using a polymerase chain reaction assay.
RESULTS : 8.2% (842/10 260) of SARI cases tested positive for enterovirus; 16% (7/45)
were species EV-A,
44% (20/45) EV-B,
18% (8/45) EV-C
and 22% (10/45) EV-D.
Seventeen different EV serotypes were identified within EV-A
of which EV-D68
(22%; 10/45) and Echovirus 3 (11%; 5/45) were the most prevalent.
CONCLUSIONS : EV-D68
should be monitored in South Africa to assess the emergence of
highly pathogenic strains.