Enterovirus : Structure, Types and Clinical syndromes

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The genus of Enterovirus belongs to the family of Picornavirus. Enteron means small intestine and is the main replication site for most enteroviruses while PicoRNAvirus are RNA viruses. Therefore, enteroviruses are RNA viruses and Picornaviruses are large group of viruses causing a wide spectrum of diseases ranging from paralytic poliomyelitis to mild, non-specific febrile illness and rarely associated with disease of the gastrointestinal tract.  These viruses are distributed worldwide but more than 90% of its infections are subclinical.

Structure of Enteroviruses

  • Enteroviruses are Single stranded RNA with positive sense.
  • They have a diameter of 24–30 nm
  • They are Icosahedral in structure with 60s ribosome (mRNA function) each containing one set of the structural proteins VP1-4
Structure of Enterovirus
Structure of Enterovirus

Clinical syndromes of enterovirus

Type of EnterovirusClinical Syndromes
PoliovirusesParalytic disease
Coxsackie A virusesHerpangina
Coxsackie A virus (A16)Hand, foot and mouth disease
Coxsackie B virusesEpidemic myalgia/pleurodynia
Coxsackie B virusesGeneralized disease in the newborn
Coxsackie B virusesMyocarditis/pericarditis
Enterovirus 70Conjunctivitis
Echoviruses (especially)Fever and rash
Enteroviruses (Many)Meningitis

The Enterovirus genus comprises several subgroups of which the following may cause disease in humans:

  • Polioviruses (types 1–3). Polios = gray, myelos = marrow.
  • Coxsackieviruses, Group A (types 1–22, 24) and Group B (types 1–6). Coxsackie viruses where first isolated from patient in “Coxsackie” which is a village in USA.
  • Echoviruses (types 1–9, 11–27). Enteric cytopathogenic human orphan viruses, originally considered not to be associated (‘orphan’) with human disease.
  • Newer enteroviruses (types 29–34, 68–72). Such as Human enterovirus 72 which is hepatitis A virus,

Source : A Practical Guide to Clinical Virology. Edited by L. R. Haaheim, J. R. Pattison and R. J. Whitley

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About the Author: Labweeks

KEUMENI DEFFE Arthur luciano is a medical laboratory technologist, community health advocate and currently a master student in tropical medicine and infectious disease.

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