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In 2014 the United States experienced a nationwide outbreak of Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infection. There were no confirmed cases of EV-D68 in 2015 and CDC was only aware of limited sporadic EV-D68 detection in the US in 2016. In this report, we analyzed 749 nasopharyngeal (NP) specimens collected in 2015 and 2016 from patients in the Lower Hudson Valley, New York using a previously validated EV-D68-specific rRT-PCR assay. EV-D68 was detected in none of 199 NP specimens collected in 2015, and in one of 108 (0.9%) samples from January to May and 159 of 442 (36.0%) samples from July to October 2016. Complete EV-D68 genome sequences from 22 patients in 2016 were obtained using a metagenomic next-generation sequencing assay. Comparative genome analysis confirmed that a new EV-D68 strain belonging to subclade B3, with 3.2-4.8% divergence in nucleotide from subclade B1 strains identified during the 2014 US outbreak, was circulating in the US in 2016 and caused an outbreak in the Lower Hudson Valley, New York with 160 laboratory-confirmed cases. Our data highlight the genetic variability and capacity in causing outbreak by diverse EV-D68 strains, and the necessity of awareness and more surveillance on their active circulation worldwide.

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Originally published in Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 1242 (2017). The original material can be found here.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.