J Bacteriol Virol.  2018 Jun;48(2):59-66. 10.4167/jbv.2018.48.2.59.

Molecular Epidemiology of Viral Conjunctivitis in the Southern Region of South Korea, 2012–2016

  • 1Health and Environment Research Institute of Gwangju, Gwangju, Korea. jkchung@korea.kr
  • 2Kim Jang Hoon Eye Clinic, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 3Dr. Lee Eye Clinic, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 4St. Mary Eye Clinic, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 5Moo-Deung Eye Clinic, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 6Department of Microbiology, Chonnam National University School of Medicine, Gwangju, Korea.


Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) and acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC) are common diseases caused by human adenoviruses (HAdV) and enteroviruses, respectively, in South Korea. However, there are limited studies on the molecular epidemiology of viral conjunctivitis in South Korea. The main objective of this study was to characterize the genotypes of adenoviruses and enteroviruses causing viral conjunctivitis in the southwest region of South Korea. We collected conjunctival swabs from 492 patients with suspected cases of viral conjunctivitis from 6 ophthalmic hospitals in Gwangju Metropolitan City, in South Korea, between 2012 and 2016. Of the 492 samples tested, HAdVs and enteroviruses were detected in 249 samples (50.6%) and 19 samples (3.9%), respectively. The genotype analysis detected HAdV-8 in 183 samples (73.5%), HAdV-37 in 14 samples (5.6%), and HAdV-3, and HAdV-4 in 9 samples (3.6%) each. We detected coxsackievirus A24 (CVA24) and coxsackievirus B1 (CVB1) in 8 samples (42.0%) and 4 samples (21.0%), respectively. We also reported for the first time HAdV-56-infected cases of EKC in South Korea. Furthermore, we found three cases of coinfection with HAdV and enterovirus genotypes in our samples. HAdV-8 and CVA24, the main causes of EKC and AHC, respectively, worldwide, were also found to be the predominant genotypes in our study.


Viral conjuntivitis; Adenovirus; Molecular epidemiology
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