Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29898445
Intervirology 2018 60:271–275
In 2017, numerous cases of acute haemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) were reported in the Caribbean and in South America. Preliminary reports identified adenoviruses and enteroviruses in some patient samples but, until now, none of the etiologic agents have been fully characterized. We report the full-length genomic sequences of 4 coxsackievirus A24 (CV-A24) isolates collected from AHC patients in French Guiana during this outbreak (May and June 2017). These isolates are very closely related and belong to the genotype IV of CV-A24 variant, which consists of strains sampled worldwide during AHC outbreaks in the 2000s and 2010s. No recombination events were detected within the genomic sequences, indicating that members of this genotype have continuously circulated worldwide for more than 10 years without undergoing recombination with other enteroviruses. This unusual trait could be due to their ocular tropism that could impede genetic exchanges between these viruses and other enteroviruses, which replicate mainly in the gut.