To clarify the epidemiology of enterovirus 68 (EV68), which is one of the most rarely identified enteroviruses, virus isolation and molecular screening using RT-PCR was performed on 6307 respiratory specimens collected at pediatric clinics in Yamagata, Japan between 2005 and 2010. In the years 2005-2009, 10, 1, 2, 0, and 2 (40) EV68-positive cases, respectively, were identified by RT-PCR. In 2010, 40 cases were identified altogether: 2 by isolation only, 26 by RT-PCR only, and 12 by both isolation and RT-PCR. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that plural genetically distinct clusters co-circulated. These results suggest that that difficulty in EV68 isolation leads to an underestimation of the prevalence of EV68 infections.
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