Non-polio enteroviruses (Coxsackievirus A, Coxsackievirus B, Echovirus and EV 68-72) which belong to the enterovirus (EV) genus, Picornaviridae family, may be responsible for acute flaccid paralysis, aseptic meningitis, myocarditis, hepatitis, pleurodinia, neonatal sepsis, hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) even though 50-80% of infections are asymptomatic. EV 71 has been responsible for outbreaks and epidemics of HFMD and acute neurologic disease justifying its study in our country. The aim of this study was to detect neutralizing antibodies (NtAb) to EV 71 in individuals up to 15 years of age living in Belém, State of Pará, northern Brazil. Serum samples from 238 patients attending the Virology Sector of Evandro Chagas Institute in Belém, Brazil, were analyzed using microneutralization tests that included RD cells and BrCr strain. Overall 40.8% (97/238) of tested samples had NtAb to EV 71. Regarding the distribution per age group, 85.2% (92/108) of patients aged 0-3 years had no NtAb to this virus and 69.2% of those 12 to 15 years of age were seropositive. These results confirm that EV 71 infection occurs in the city of Belém; and that a high rate of individuals in this study were infected aged 3 years and over and, when aged 15 years nearly 70% had EV 71 NtAb.
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