The role of Coxsackievirus A16 in a case of sudden unexplained death in an infant: A SUDI case

B. S. Astrup, I. B. G. Johnsen, Anne Line Engsbro

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The Coxsackievirus A16 (CV-A16) is one of the main pathogens causing hand-foot-and-mouth disease in young children. It is a low-virulence virus rarely involved in serious illness. It is seen sporadically or in outbreaks all over the world. We report a case of sudden unexplained death in infancy, SUDI, in a 3 and 1/2 months old infant, in which a thorough post mortem investigation pointed at a fatal infection with CV-A16 as the most likely cause of death. Only five cases of fatal CV-A16 infection have been published and none of these presented as sudden death. The fatal cases involved two infants, two young children and an elderly man. Post mortem, pre-autopsy CT-scan and C-reactive protein analysis allowed for an autopsy procedure targeted at a microbiological cause of death. The case illustrates the usefulness of supplementary testing during autopsy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalForensic Science International
Pages (from-to)e9-e13
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • C-reactive protein
  • CRP
  • Coxsackievirus
  • Post-mortem radiology
  • Sudden infant death
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Sudden Infant Death/etiology
  • Enterovirus/isolation & purification
  • Coxsackievirus Infections/diagnosis
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Lung Diseases/diagnosis


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