Enterovirus Surveillance and Control in Vietnam

Speaker: Dr. Vu Thi Que Huong
Senior Researcher,
Department of Microbiology and Immunology,
Pasteur Institute in HCMC,


Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) being a common contagious disease in children, is normally mild, self-recovering but sometimes develops the life–threatening manifestations. It’s mainly caused by enteroviruses, particularly Coxsackieviruses (CA) and Enterovirus71 (EV-A71).

HFMD caused by EV-A71 has been reported in South Vietnam since 2003, however severe and widespread epidemics were only observed in later years. After big outbreak in 2011, HFMD has been classified by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health as a severe infectious disease with outbreak potential, which requires all hospitals to report cases weekly through the national communicable diseases surveillance system.

Based on Decision 581 of Ministry of Health dated 24/02/2012, all specimen of HFMD patients diagnosed from IIb up IV have been collected and tested by RT-PCR detecting EV-A71/EVs then RT-Seminested PCR/VP1-sequencing for identifying the EV-A71 genotypes or other EVs.

Since 2011, Enterovirus surveillance system found the EV-A71, CA-6 and CA-16 as the predominant EVs causing severe HFMD in Vietnam.

Concerning EV-A71 prior to 2011, the EV-A71 subgenogroup C5 was first detected and caused the largest reported epidemic in 2005 associated with 173 cases including 51 with neurological complications and 3 fatalities. The emergence of the EV-A71 subgenogroup C4 in 2011 suggests a possible correlation between change the EV-A71 subgenogroup with HFMD outbreaks during 2011-2012 in Vietnam and subgenogroup B5 gradually dominated in the following years.

Currently, HFMD is endemic disease in Vietnam with no vaccines and no specific treatment. The prevention and control mainly relies on routine preventive measures for direct contact. The Vietnam Ministry of Health has issued 6 preventive measures for the community, so that preventive measures are applied regularly and become habits for people and communities to take part in not only the health sector but also the participation of the government, education, media, community… and reach the right target.

The enterovirus surveillance system should be maintained to provide the useful informations for public health strategies and vaccine designs.

The content is authorized by Dr. Vu Thi Que Huong on October 23, 2017.

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