An outbreak of severe respiratory illness associated with enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) infection was reported in mid-August 2014 in the United States. In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic utility of an EV-D68-specific real-time reverse transcription-PCR (rRT-PCR) that was recently developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in clinical samples. Nasopharyngeal (NP) swab specimens from patients in a recent outbreak of respiratory illness in the lower Hudson Valley, New York State, were collected and examined for the presence of human rhinovirus or enterovirus using the Film Array Respiratory Panel (RP) assay. Samples positive by RP were assessed using EV-D68 rRT-PCR, and the data were compared to results from sequencing analysis of partial VP1 and 5′ untranslated region (5′-UTR) sequences of the EV genome. A total of 285 RP-positive NP specimens (260 from the 2014 outbreak and 25 from 2013) were analyzed by rRT-PCR; EV-D68 was detected in 74 of 285 (26.0%) specimens examined. Data for comparisons between rRT-PCR and sequencing analysis were obtained from 194 NP specimens. EV-D68 detection was confirmed by sequencing analysis in 71 of 74 positive and in 1 of 120 randomly selected negative specimens by rRTPCR. The EV-D68 rRT-PCR showed diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of 98.6% and 97.5%, respectively. Our data suggest that the EV-D68 rRT-PCR is a reliable assay for detection of EV-D68 in clinical samples and has a potential to be used as a tool for rapid diagnosis and outbreak investigation of EV-D68-associated infections in clinical and public health laboratories.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)