The incidence of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in New South Wales, Australia, is unknown. As part of a state-wide surveillance program, enterovirus positive diagnostic specimens were assessed from patients presenting to hospitals with respiratory and meningitis syndromes from August 2018 to November 2019. Diagnostic enterovirus positive samples were collected from 339 patients and re-extracted followed by targeted PCR across the whole EV-D68 genome (7.4 kb). Obtained amplicons (n=208) were sequenced using Illumina sequencing technology and the phylogenetic relationships analysed relative to EV-D68 Fermon strain. We identified EV-D68 in 31 patients, both children (n=27) and adults (n=4). Phylogenetically, the majority (n=30) were from subclade B3, the same as that causing outbreaks of EV-D68 across the USA and Europe during 2018. These data strengthen the importance of having an active enterovirus surveillance network.
Keywords: Human enterovirus; enterovirus infections; high-throughput nucleotide sequencing; viral meningitis.
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