Severe Enterovirus Infections in Hospitalized Children in the South of England: Clinical Phenotypes and Causative Genotypes


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Abstract

Background:Most enterovirus surveillance studies lack detailed clinical data, which limits their clinical usefulness. This study aimed to describe the clinical spectrum and outcome of severe enterovirus infections in children, and to determine whether there are associations between causative enterovirus genotypes and clinical phenotypes.Methods:Retrospective analysis of microbiological and clinical data from a tertiary children’s hospital in the South of England over a 17-month period (2012–2013).Results:In total, 30 patients were identified, comprising sepsis (n = 9), myocarditis (n = 8), meningitis (n = 8) and encephalitis (n = 5). Cases with sepsis or myocarditis were significantly younger than those with central nervous system disease (median age 21 and 15 days vs. 79 days; P = 0.0244 and P = 0.0310, respectively). There was considerable diversity in the causative genotypes in each of the clinical phenotypes, with some predominance of echoviruses in the meningitis group, and coxsackie B viruses in the myocarditis group. Thirteen cases required mechanical ventilation, 11 cases inotropic support, 3 cases dialysis and 3 cases extracorporal membrane oxygenation. The overall mortality was 10% (sepsis group, n = 1; myocarditis group, n = 2). Of the survivors, 5 (19%) had long-term sequelae (myocardial dysfunction, n = 2; neurological sequelae, n = 3). Patients with encephalitis had the longest hospital stay (median: 16 days), compared with 9, 6 and 3 days in patients with myocarditis, sepsis and meningitis, respectively (P = 0.005).Conclusions:Enterovirus infections, particularly enteroviral myocarditis and encephalitis, can cause significant morbidity and mortality. The results show that there are currently no strong associations between clinical phenotypes and particular causative enterovirus genotypes in the South of England.

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