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The emergence of enterovirus 71 as a major cause of acute neurological disease in young children of the Asia-Pacific region
16 November 2005
26 December 2005
28 July 2015 (online)
Since its discovery in 1970, enterovirus 71 (EV71) has increasingly been recognized as a cause of epidemics of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) associated with severe neurological complications in a proportion of cases. There has been a large increase in EV71 epidemic activity throughout the Asia-Pacific region since 1997. Recent HFMD epidemics have been associated with a severe form of brainstem encephalitis associated with pulmonary edema and high case-fatality rates. The emergence of EV71 activity in the Asia-Pacific region has been associated with the circulation of several distinct genetic lineages that appear to be undergoing rapid evolutionary change. In this review, I will present a synopsis of recent research into the epidemiology and evolution of EV71 in the Asia-Pacific region, the neurological diseases attributable to EV71 infection and the prospects for control of EV71 infections through public health interventions and the development of new antiviral agents and vaccines.