Epidemiology and Infection

First epidemic of aseptic meningitis due to echovirus type 13 among Spanish children

G. TRALLERO a1c1, I. CASAS a1, A. AVELLÓN a1, C. PÉREZ a2, A. TENORIO a1 and A. DE LA LOMA a1
a1 C.N. de Microbiología, Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain
a2 Hospital Gral Dr. Negrin, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain


Echoviruses are the commonest cause of aseptic meningitis (AM). Echovirus type 13 (EV-13) was the second enterovirus serotype associated with different local outbreaks of AM in Spain between February and October 2000. It was the first time that an epidemic AM caused by this virus was recognized in Spain. The index case appeared in the Canary Islands (Canarias). The EV-13 virus was isolated from 135 patients, predominantly from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). All isolates were from children under 13 years. The age specific peak incidence was in infants under 1 year. Most patients had fever, headache and other meningeal signs. This enterovirus serotype, not previously detected in Spain, caused severe illness with a high attack rate.

(Accepted November 21 2002)

c1 Author for correspondence: Servicio de Virología, Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Ctra Majadahonda Pozuelo Km.2, Majadahonda 28220-Madrid, Spain.