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Virology And Epidemiology Analyses Of Global Adenovirus-associated Conjunctivitis Outbreaks, 1953–2013

L. ZHANG, N. ZHAO, J. SHA, C. WANG, X. JIN, S. AMER, S. LIU

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SUMMARYThis study aimed to compare the virology and epidemiology of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC), pharyngoconjunctival fever (PCF) and acute haemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) outbreaks worldwide caused by the human adenovirus (HAdV) from 1953 to 2013. Eighty-three hexon sequences from 76 conjunctivitis outbreaks were analysed and subtyped using Mega 5.05, Clustal X and SimPlot software. Epidemiology was performed for the area, age and seasonal distribution. A phylogenetic analysis indicated that all the isolates could be divided into three subgenetic lineages, without a common ancestor. The major causes of the outbreaks were Ad8, Ad7 and Ad2 co-infection with enterovirus 70 (EV70) in EKC, PCF and AHC, respectively. The epidemiological findings suggested that EKC and AHC were circulating predominantly in Asia during the early winter and spring, whereas PCF was circulating mainly in China, Australia and the United States during the summer. This study suggests that EKC, AHC and PCF outbreaks have different circulating patterns throughout the world and are caused by different adenovirus serotypes. A global surveillance system should be established to monitor conjunctivitis outbreaks in the future.