Epidemiological and serological surveillance of hand-foot-and-mouth disease in Shanghai, China, 2012-2016

Emerg Microbes Infect. 2018 Jan 24;7(1):8. doi: 10.1038/s41426-017-0011-z.


Aside from enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackie virus A16 (CV-A16), viruses that are known to cause hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD), epidemiological profiles of other enteroviruses that induce HFMD are limited. We collected 9949 laboratory surveillance HFMD cases and 1230 serum samples from infants and children in Shanghai from 2012-2016. Since 2013, CV-A6 has displaced EV71 and CV-A16 to become the predominant serotype. Interestingly, novel epidemiological patterns in EV71 and CV-A16 infections were observed, with one large peak in both 2012 and 2014, followed by two smaller peaks in the respective following years (2013 and 2015). Through sequencing, we found that C4a, B1b, D-Cluster-1 and B constituted the major subgenotypes of EV71, CV-A16, CV-A6 and CV-A10, respectively. Among healthy individuals, 50.49% and 54.23% had positive neutralising antibodies (NtAbs) against EV71 and CV-A16, respectively, indicating that EV71 and CV-A16 silent infections were common. These populations may be an important potential source of infection. The overall seropositive rate of EV71 NtAbs showed a fluctuating, markedly downward trend, indicating the potential risk of a future EV71 epidemic. High CV-A16 NtAb seroprevalence corroborated a documented CV-A16 'silent' epidemic. Children aged 1-5 years had the lowest EV71 NtAb seropositive rate, whereas those aged 1-2 years exhibited the lowest CV-A16 NtAb seropositive rate. This is the first comprehensive investigation of the epidemiology and aetiology, as well as the seroprevalence, of HFMD in Shanghai between 2012 and 2016. This study provides the latest insights into developing a more efficient HMFD vaccination programme.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • China / epidemiology
  • Enterovirus A, Human / immunology*
  • Epidemics
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Female
  • Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease / blood
  • Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease / epidemiology*
  • Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease / immunology*
  • Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease / virology
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Surveillance
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies*
  • Serogroup


  • Antibodies, Viral