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Epidemiological and virological features of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis due to new human adenovirus type 54 in Japan
  1. Hisatoshi Kaneko1,
  2. Tatsuo Suzutani1,
  3. Koki Aoki2,
  4. Nobuyoshi Kitaichi2,
  5. Susumu Ishida2,
  6. Hiroaki Ishiko3,
  7. Tsutomu Ohashi4,
  8. Shigeki Okamoto5,
  9. Hisashi Nakagawa6,
  10. Rikutaro Hinokuma7,
  11. Yoshimori Asato8,
  12. Shinobu Oniki9,
  13. Teiko Hashimoto10,
  14. Tomohiro Iida11,
  15. Shigeaki Ohno12
  1. 1Department of Microbiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan
  3. 3Host Defense Laboratory, Mitsubishi Chemical Medience Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
  4. 4Ohashi Eye Clinic, Sapporo Japan
  5. 5Okamoto Eye Clinic, Matsuyama, Japan
  6. 6Tokushima Eye Clinic, Tokyo, Japan
  7. 7Hinokuma Eye Clinic, Kumamoto, Japan
  8. 8Asato Eye Clinic, Itoman, Japan
  9. 9Oniki Eye Clinic, Chikushino, Japan
  10. 10Sakuramizu Sakai Eye Clinic, Fukushima, Japan
  11. 11Department of Ophthalmology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima, Japan
  12. 12Department of Ocular Inflammation and Immunology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hisatoshi Kaneko, Department of Microbiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, 1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima 960-1295, Japan; h-kane{at}


Background/aims New human adenovirus (HAdV)-54 causes epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) and is virologically close to and has occasionally been detected as HAdV-8. Taking HAdV-54 into account, we re-determined HAdV type in EKC samples to determine its epidemiology in Japan, and examined the virological features of HAdV-54.

Methods HAdV type was re-determined in 776 conjunctival swabs from Japan and 174 from six other countries, obtained between 2000 and 2009. Using 115 HAdV strains obtained before 1999, trends regarding HAdV-8 and HAdV-54 were also determined. In addition, immunochromatography (IC) kit features, DNA copy numbers and viral isolation of HAdV-54 in samples were evaluated.

Results Recently, HAdV-37 and HAdV-54 have been the major causative types of EKC in Japan. HAdV-54 has been isolated each year since 1995, whereas HAdV-8 has become less common since 1997, although it remains the most common cause of EKC in the six other countries investigated where HAdV-54 is yet to be detected. HAdV-54 is comparable to other EKC-related HAdV types in terms of IC kit sensitivity and DNA copy numbers, although HAdV-54 grows more slowly on viral isolation.

Conclusions EKC due to HAdV-54 can result in epidemics; therefore, it should be accurately diagnosed and monitored as an emerging infection worldwide.

  • Human adenovirus
  • human adenovirus type 54
  • epidemic keratoconjunctivitis
  • epidemiology
  • conjunctiva
  • microbiology
  • infection

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.