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Epidemiological and virological features of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis due to new human adenovirus type 54 in Japan


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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