Whole-genome analysis to describe a human adenovirus D8 conjunctivitis outbreak in a tertiary hospital

Elisenda Miro*, Margarita Del Cuerpo, Marc Rubio, Carla Berengua, Montserrat Español, Pilar Marin, Jose I. Vela, Virginia Pomar, Cristina Gutierrez, Ferran Navarro, Núria Rabella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Conjunctivitis is a frequent ocular disorder caused by human adenoviruses (HAdVs). Only a few of the 45 HAdV-D species are associated with epidemic keratoconjunctivitis, including HAdV-D8. Nosocomial outbreaks due to HAdV-D8 have been rarely described, because keratoconjunctivitis cases are clinically diagnosed and treated without having to characterize the causative agent. Moreover, molecular typing is tedious when using classical techniques. In this study, a hospital outbreak of conjunctivitis caused by HAdV-D8 was characterized using the recently developed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) method. Of the 363 patients attending the Ophthalmology Department between July 13 and August 13, 2018, 36 may have acquired intrahospital conjunctivitis. Also, 11 of 22 samples sent to the Virology section were selected for WGS analysis. The WGS results revealed that 10 out of 11 HAdV-D8 strains were closely related. The remaining strain (Case 28) was more similar to a strain from an outbreak in Germany obtained from a public sequence database. WGS results showed that outbreak HAdV-D8 strains had a minimum percentage of identity of 94.3%. WGS is useful in a clinical setting, because it avoids carrying out viral culture or specific polymerase chain reaction sequencing. The public availability of sequence reads makes it easier to compare clusters in circulation. In conclusion, WGS can play an important role in standard routines to describe viral outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Publication statusAccepted in press - 2021


  • adenovirus
  • HAdV-D8
  • outbreak
  • whole-genome


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