Human enterovirus71 (HEV71) together with other enteroviruses such as Coxsackie A16 and Coxsackie A10 is known to be responsible for hand, foot and mouth disease. Several of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) outbreaks caused by HEV71 were associated with neurological manifestations and deaths. In Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah, even though huge outbreaks of HFMD have never been reported; HEV71 strains however, were isolated periodically from HFMD cases throughout the year. From 2001 to 2009, four genetic lineages of HEV71 have been found to be prevalent in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah. The predominant circulating strain was subgenogroup B4 in 2001 and this was later followed by subgenogroup B5 in 2003. The subgenogroup B5 was dominant between 2005 and 2009. Viruses belonging to subgenogroups C1 and C4 were also detected.
Key words: Human enterovirus, neurological diseases, molecular epidemiology, gene sequences
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