Molecular diagnosis of echovirus 30 as the etiological agent in an outbreak of aseptic meningitis in Panama: May – June 2008
Introduction: Aseptic meningitis outbreaks are commonly caused by viral pathogens with enterovirus a common etiological agent. Between May and June of 2008, an outbreak of 173 cases of aseptic meningitis occurred in the Chiriqui Province of Panama. Molecular techniques were used to identify the etiological agent.
Methodology: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from 75 patients were received at the Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies. RNA extraction and one-step RT-PCR were performed on each sample to determine the presence of enterovirus. Thirty-four samples which were positive for enterovirus were subject to group-specific PCR, sequencing, and phylogenetic analysis to identify the etiological agent of the outbreak.
Results: The CSF of 58 subjects was found positive for the enterovirus family using RT-PCR. Thirty-four samples were found to belong to the enterovirus B group. Phylogenetic analysis of four successfully sequenced samples revealed echovirus 30 as the etiological agent. Conclusion: Echovirus 30 is reported as the likely cause of an outbreak of aseptic meningitis in Panama, the first since the 1980s.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).