Molecular epidemiology of enteroviruses and predominance of echovirus 30 in an Iranian population with aseptic meningitis.J Neurovirol. 2021 06; 27(3):444-451.JN
Human enteroviruses are the most prevalent causes of aseptic meningitis worldwide. However, despite such predominancy, defining the enteroviral etiology of aseptic meningitis remains a diagnostic dilemma for the clinician in Iran. Therefore, this study was conducted to characterize the prevalence and clinical significance of enteroviral aseptic meningitis as well as the predominant enterovirus serotypes among patients with aseptic meningitis in the South of Iran.Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens were obtained from 73 patients with aseptic meningitis (52.1% males and 47.9% females), ages ranging from 1 month to 88 years. Following the extraction of nucleic acid, the detection of enteroviruses was performed by RT-PCR, targeting the 5' untranslated region of the genome, and sequencing. Enteroviruses were found in 46.6% of samples (34/73). The most predominant serotype was echovirus 30, followed by coxsackievirus B5 and poliovirus type 1 Sabin strain. The enterovirus infections were more prevalent among female patients (58.8%) and those below 5 years of age (52.9%). Although enterovirus infections were observed throughout the year, the infections were more prevalent during autumn with fever as the predominant clinical symptom. The outcomes revealed that enteroviruses are significant causes of aseptic meningitis in the South of Iran, while suspected cases of aseptic meningitis are usually monitored by bacterial culture and biochemical testing of CSF samples. Therefore, the etiology remains unknown in most cases. Molecular detection of viral pathogens should be included as a common approach in the screening of patients with aseptic meningitis to prevent unnecessary treatment and to improve clinical management.