Enteroviruses (EVs) are among the most commonly detected viruses infecting humans worldwide. Although the prevalence of EVs is widely studied, the status of EV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa remains largely unknown. The objective of our present study was therefore to increase our knowledge on EV circulation in sub-Saharan Africa. We obtained 749 fecal samples from a cross-sectional study conducted on Malawian children aged 6 to 60 months. We tested the samples for the presence of EVs using real time PCR, and typed the positive samples based on partial viral protein 1 (VP1) sequences. A large proportion of the samples was EV positive (89.9%). 12.9% of the typed samples belonged to EV species A (EV-A), 48.6% to species B (EV-B) and 38.5% to species C (EV-C). More than half of the EV-C strains (53%) belonged to subgroup C containing, among others, Poliovirus (PV) 1-3. The serotype most frequently isolated in our study was CVA-13, followed by EV-C99. The strains of CVA-13 showed a vast genetic diversity, possibly representing a new cluster, ‘F’. The majority of the EV-C99 strains grouped together as cluster B. In conclusion, this study showed a vast circulation of EVs among Malawian children, with an EV prevalence of 89.9%. Identification of prevalences for species EV-C comparable to our study (38.5%) have only previously been reported in sub-Saharan Africa, and EV-C is rarely found outside of this region. The data found in this study are an important contribution to our current knowledge of EV epidemiology within sub-Saharan Africa.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00705-018-3878-7, hdl.handle.net/1765/107184
Journal Archives of Virology
Brouwer, L. (Lieke), van der Sanden, S.M.G, Calis, J.C.J. (Job C. J.), Bruning, A.H.L. (Andrea H. L.), Wang, S. (Steven), Wildenbeest, J.G. (Joanne G.), … Wolthers, K.C. (2018). High frequency of Polio-like Enterovirus C strains with differential clustering of CVA-13 and EV-C99 subgenotypes in a cohort of Malawian children. Archives of Virology, 1–9. doi:10.1007/s00705-018-3878-7