Enterovirus 71 (EV71), known as one of the major causative agents for hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD), usually infect children under 5 years old. It is characterised by fever, sores in the mouth, and a rash with blisters (palm of the hands, sole of the feet and seat). Rarely, EV71 may cause severe neurologic and respiratory complications causing death.
In Asian countries, EV71 incidence has been increasing steadily for the past ten years, in particular in China PR and in Vietnam. First cases in Cambodia were detected in April 2012.
“Close scientific ties between Institut Pasteur in Cambodia and Institut Pasteur in Cambodia and Institut Pasteur in Shanghai - Chinese Academy of Sciences enabled a rapid and efficient response to this new challenge” say Dr Vincent DEUBEL, Director of Institut Pasteur in Cambodia. “Once EV71 was identified by the Virology Unit of IPC headed by Dr Philippe BUCHY, Institut Pasteur in Shanghai - Chinese Academy of Sciences (IPS-CAS) shared their scientific expertise”. Viral full-length genomes were quickly sequenced thanks to an international collaboration (IPC, IPS-CAS, Institut Pasteur and the University of Hong Kong). These genomes very close to the EV71 genotype C4 isolated in China PR and in Vietnam. Scientists of Institut Pasteur International Network (RIIP) are now working with determination to identify the risk factors associated with this severe EV71 infection.This collective success in a highly competitive international environment demonstrates the strength of the RIIP and its integration in the medical and scientific regional network.
"All hopes and expectations are pinned on vaccines and therapeutics currently under development in several countries and in particular in IPS-CAS” says Dr Ralf ALTMEYER, Director of IPS-CAS.