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Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) and coxsackievirus A6 (CVA6) cause hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) and are occasionally linked to severe neurologic complications and large outbreaks worldwide. We estimated EV-A71 and CVA6 seroprevalence using cross-sectional age-stratified samples collected in 2006, 2011, and 2017. Seroprevalences of EV-A71 and CVA6 increased from 32% and 54% at 6-11 months to >75% by 10 years of age. Antibody titers declined after 20 years, which could indicate infrequent re-exposure in older populations. Age profiles for acquiring infections and mean titers were comparable in the 3 testing years, despite the marked increase in incidence of CVA6-related HFMD from 2010. The uncoupling of changes in disease severity from the infection kinetics of CVA6 as we inferred from the seroprevalence data, rather than incidence of infection over the 11-year study period, provides further evidence for a change in its pathogenicity.

Original publication





Emerging infectious diseases

Publication Date





2261 - 2268


Humans, Enterovirus, Enterovirus A, Human, Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, Cross-Sectional Studies, Seroepidemiologic Studies, Aged, Child, Preschool, United Kingdom