Scientists have identified the cause of outbreaks of enterovirus, one of the most prevalent types of virus in the world.
We now understand why these outbreaks occur, and that they are actually highly predictable
Dr Margarita Pons-SalortStudy author
The work, funded by the Wellcome Trust, has shown for the first time that the frequency of enterovirus outbreaks over time are linked to birth rates.
Enteroviruses infect mostly children under 10 years old, and strike millions of youngsters every year – 50 million in the U.S. alone.
There are over 100 different types of enterovirus that infect people, causing a range of illnesses, from mild cold-like symptoms such as coughs, sore throat and fever, to more serious conditions such as hand-foot-and-mouth disease, viral meningitis, and encephalitis.
Infections tend to peak during summer and autumn months. Although there are no specific treatments, there is one vaccine available, and others in development.
There have been a number of serious enterovirus outbreaks in recent years. In 2014 a particular strain in the U.S. was linked to severe respiratory illness in young children, and there are thought to be over one million cases of hand-foot-and-mouth disease in China each year.
But despite the viruses causing so many infections, scientists still don’t fully understand what causes outbreaks.
Dr Margarita Pons-Salort, co-author of the research from the School of Public Health at Imperial said: “There are many different types of enteroviruses that infect humans. Some cause epidemics every year, while others cause epidemics every two or three years. However, until now we didn’t know what determined the frequency of these outbreaks, or why some viruses seemed to cause large outbreaks in certain years.”
Birth rate link
In the study, the team found that outbreaks of a given type of enterovirus were largely determined by the number of children born each year and the development of long-lasting immunity against that type following infection.
Once a child is infected with a specific type of enterovirus, they usually develop immunity to further infections with that virus. The team found that after each outbreak there is a time lag – from the end of the initial outbreak to a new pool of children being born who have not encountered the virus. This second group of children then become infected, and a subsequent outbreak occurs.
The team used a mathematical model to simulate these epidemic patterns for each of the 20 most common types of enterovirus.
To build the model, they used Japanese enterovirus surveillance data. Japan keeps incredibly detailed information on enterovirus outbreaks, and the team used 14 years’ worth of information to build the model (from 2000-2014).
Preparing for an outbreak
They then tested the model, and found that it was able to predict subsequent outbreaks in 2015 and 2016 for most types of enterovirus.
“The accuracy of our model to explain the data means we now understand why these outbreaks occur, and that they are actually highly predictable” said Dr Pons-Salort.
She continued: “This information could allow medical staff to prepare ahead of the outbreak. Our model will also help design vaccination strategies (i.e. who should be vaccinated and when), and anticipate the impact of the vaccine. For instance, it will allow us to calculate the proportion of children that should be vaccinated to avoid a new outbreak.”
The team are now testing their model on data from other countries, to ensure it can be applied to other regions around the world.
Their work also suggested that certain types of enteroviruses can fundamentally change their ‘appearance’ and become more virulent, or more transmissible between people. The team are now working on methods to understand these changes.
The Latest on: Enterovirus
via Google News
The Latest on: Enterovirus
- Association of Enterovirus D68 With Acute Flaccid Myelitis, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 2009–2018on October 5, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Although the definitive cause of AFM remains unconfirmed, enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is suspected based on 2014 data demonstrating an increase in AFM cases concomitant with an EV-D68 outbreak.
- Enterovirus Surveillance - United States, 2000-2001on October 5, 2020 at 5:00 pm
 A total of 64 enterovirus serotypes are recognized, including 61 nonpolio enteroviruses.  * Individual serotypes have different temporal patterns of circulation and often are associated ...
- Potential drug could ‘jam’ hand, foot, and mouth diseaseon September 24, 2020 at 11:18 am
Researchers have identified a potential new drug candidate against enterovirus 71, a common cause of hand, foot, and mouth disease in infants and young children. The compound of interest is a ...
- Researchers find potential drug for dangerous enteroviruson September 22, 2020 at 10:26 am
Some good news in the search for antiviral drugs for hard-to-treat diseases as researchers have identified a potential new drug candidate against enterovirus 71, a common cause of hand ...
- Researchers: Treatment for hand, foot and mouth disease may be on horizonon September 22, 2020 at 7:34 am
Sept. 22 (UPI) --Researchers have identified a potential new drug to treat enterovirus 71, a common cause of hand, foot and mouth disease, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal ...
- Researchers find potential drug for dangerous enteroviruson September 22, 2020 at 5:49 am
New York, Sep 22 (IANS) Some good news in the search for antiviral drugs for hard-to-treat diseases as researchers have identified a potential new drug candidate against enterovirus 71 ...
- Enterovirus Testing Kit Marketon September 18, 2020 at 6:43 am
Reports Web presents the intelligent report title as “Enterovirus Testing Kit Market – Covid-19 Impact Global Analysis and Forecasts by product, application and end user”. Market is expected ...
- Intravacc Receives US NIH/NIAID Contract to Develop Enterovirus D68 Vaccineon September 15, 2020 at 12:23 pm
BILTHOVEN, Netherlands, Sept. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Intravacc, a global leader in translational research and development of viral and bacterial vaccines, today announced that it has been awarded ...
- Enterovirus Outbreak Hospitalizes Kids Across Midweston September 8, 2020 at 9:14 am
SIEGEL: If indeed a child is diagnosed with Enterovirus 68, what's the treatment for it? PALLANSCH: So there - at this stage, there is no specific treatment for this virus. In all situations ...
- Intravacc Receives US NIH/NIAID Contract to Develop Enterovirus D68 Vaccineon September 7, 2020 at 11:39 pm
During the past decade, EV D68 infections have notably increased in North America, Europe and Asia. In 2014, the United States experienced a large outbreak of severe respiratory disease caused by ...
via Bing News