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Volume 21, Number 2—February 2015

Genome Sequence of Enterovirus D68 and Clinical Disease, Thailand

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To the Editor: Outbreaks of respiratory enterovirus D68 infection were particularly severe in 2014 in the United States. Wylie et al. recently analyzed the whole genomes of clinical strains from St. Louis, Missouri, USA, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, GA, USA) (1). Results showed that the most closely related genomes to the St. Louis strains were strains CU134 (GenBank accession no. KM361523) and CU171 (KM361524), which were identified in Thailand in 2011 (2,3).

To provide additional background regarding the origin of these strains from Thailand, including 1 additional CU70 strain (KM361525), we report clinical features of the 3 patients from which the strains were derived. This additional information might assist clinical scientists in early recognition of enterovirus D68 infections and provide insight into viral pathogenesis.

The 3 patients (1 boy and 2 girls; age range 7–24 months) were hospitalized during July–September 2011 with pneumonia. At admission, they had cough, rhinorrhea, and dyspnea. Fever, crepitation, and wheezing were observed in patients CU70 and CU134. Patients CU134 and CU171 had suprasternal and subcostal retraction, and patient CU171 had signs of nasal flaring and inspiratory stridor (he has an underlying double aortic arch). Chest radiographs showed perihilar infiltration for patients CU70 and CU134. Hemocultures and test results for respiratory viruses for all 3 patients were negative (2).

Physicians provided respiratory support to all 3 patients by oxygen flow and nebulized bronchodilator. In addition, patient CU171 was given nebulized adrenaline, an intravenous corticosteroid, and intravenous antimicrobial drugs. Patients CU70 and CU134 were discharged after 3 and 8 days, respectively. However, patient CU171 remained hospitalized for 16 days.

Nasopharyngeal aspirates obtained from the 3 patients were subjected to next-generation sequencing and genomic analysis. From the total number of analyzed reads for isolates from patients CU70 (n = 10,482), CU134 (n = 11,504), and CU171 (n = 4,545), ≈1,100–1,600 enterovirus D68 sequence reads were identified. Anellovirus sequences (n < 60) were found in aspirates from patients CU70 and CU171. Furthermore, aspirates from patients CU134 and CU171 contained human rhinovirus B (n = 73) and human rhinovirus C (n = 15), respectively (2). Future genomic studies and surveillance of enterovirus D68 will be helpful in monitoring its spread next season.



This study was supported by Chulalongkorn University, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Thailand Research Fund.


Sompong Vongpunsawad, Slinporn Prachayangprecha, Jira Chansaenroj, Bart L. Haagmans, Saskia L. Smits, and Yong PoovorawanComments to Author 
Author affiliations: Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand (S. Vongpunsawad, S. Prachayangprecha, J. Chansaenroj, Y. Poovorawan); Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (B.L. Haagmans, S.L. Smits)



  1. Wylie  KM, Wylie  TN, Orvedahl  A, Buller  RS, Herter  BN, Magrini  V, Genome sequence of enterovirus D68 from St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015;21:1846 .
  2. Prachayangprecha  S, Schapendonk  CM, Koopmans  MP, Osterhaus  AD, Schürch  AC, Pas  SD, Exploring the potential of next-generation sequencing in detection of respiratory viruses. J Clin Microbiol. 2014;52:372230 . DOIPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Linsuwanon  P, Puenpa  J, Suwannakarn  K, Auksornkitti  V, Vichiwattana  P, Korkong  S, Molecular epidemiology and evolution of human enterovirus serotype 68 in Thailand, 2006–2011. PLoS ONE. 2012;7:e35190. DOIPubMedGoogle Scholar


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DOI: 10.3201/eid2102.141742

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Yong Poovorawan, Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

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Page created: January 27, 2015
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