Respiratory Group receives funding for enterovirus surveillance and next generation sequencing.
Our Respiratory Group has received an injection of funds from Triple I, part of the Sydney Health Research Partnerships (SPHERE) http://www.thesphere.com.au/. The money will fund establishment of our State-wide Enterovirus Surveillance Network and next generation sequencing of circulating enterovirus strains.
Hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common and mostly self-limiting illness usually affecting young children (<5 years of age). The most common cause of HFMD is infection with an enterovirus, including subtype EV-A71 which often causes severe complications. There are other enteroviruses that also cause potentially fatal neurological and systemic complications. New South Wales regularly experiences outbreaks of enteroviruses (Nolan et al. 2003, Teoh et al. 2016), such as in 2013 and 2018.
In order to track enterovirus change and respond rapidly to outbreaks, we need to carry out regular surveillance of enterovirus subtypes causing severe disease. We will establish an enterovirus monitoring and rapid response program that will detect new emerging strains.
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