Enterovirus D68 respiratory infection in a children's hospital in Japan in 2015.Pediatr Int. 2019 Aug; 61(8):768-776.PI
Outbreaks of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) respiratory infections in children were reported globally in 2014. In Japan, there was an EV-D68 outbreak in the autumn of 2015 (September-October). The aim of this study was to compare EV-D68-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive and EV-D68-specific PCR-negative patients.
Pediatric patients admitted for any respiratory symptoms between September and October 2015 were enrolled. Nasopharyngeal swabs were tested for multiplex respiratory virus PCR and EV-D68-specific reverse transcription-PCR. EV-D68-specific PCR-positive and -negative patients were compared regarding demographic data and clinical information.
A nasopharyngeal swab was obtained from 76 of 165 patients admitted with respiratory symptoms during the study period. EV-D68 was detected in 40 samples (52.6%). Median age in the EV-D68-specific PCR-positive and -negative groups was 3.0 years (IQR, 5.5 years) and 3.0 years (IQR, 4.0 years), respectively. The rates of coinfection in the two groups were 32.5% and 47.2%, respectively. There was no significant difference in the history of asthma or recurrent wheezing, length of hospitalization, or pediatric intensive care unit admission rate between the groups. The median days between symptom onset and admission was significantly lower for the EV-D68-positive group (3.0 days vs 5.0 days, P = 0.001). EV-D68 was identified as clade B on phylogenetic analysis. No cases of acute flaccid myelitis were encountered.
More than half of the samples from the children admitted with respiratory symptoms were positive for EV-D68-specific PCR during the outbreak. Asthma history was not associated with the risk of developing severe respiratory infection.