Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD): emerging epidemiology and the need for a vaccine strategy

S. Aswathyraj, G. Arunkumar, E. K. Alidjinou, D. Hober

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

164 Citations (Scopus)


Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a contagious viral disease and mainly affects infants and young children. The main manifestations are fever, vesicular rashes on hand, feet and buttocks and ulcers in the oral mucosa. Usually, HFMD is self-limiting, but a small proportion of children may experience severe complications such as meningitis, encephalitis, acute flaccid paralysis and neurorespiratory syndrome. Historically, outbreaks of HFMD were mainly caused by two enteroviruses: the coxsackievirus A16 (CV-A16) and the enterovirus 71 (EV-A71). In the recent years, coxsackievirus A6 and coxsackievirus A10 have been widely associated with both sporadic cases and outbreaks of HFMD worldwide, particularly in India, South East Asia and Europe with an increased frequency of neurological complications as well as mortality. Currently, there is no pharmacological intervention or vaccine available for HFMD. A formalin-inactivated EV-A71 vaccine has completed clinical trial in several Asian countries. However, this vaccine cannot protect against other major emerging etiologies of HFMD such as CV-A16, CV-A6 and CV-A10. Therefore, the development of a globally representative multivalent HFMD vaccine could be the best strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-407
Number of pages11
JournalMedical Microbiology and Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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