Comparative Genomics of the Coxsackie B Viruses and Related Enteroviruses

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Genomic analysis of the group B coxsackieviruses (CVB) has improved our understanding of CVB evolution, epidemiology, and pathogenesis. Comparison of capsid sequence alignments and virion structures allows correlation of capsid diversity with surface features, such as loops, the receptor canyon, and antigenic sites. Pairwise sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analyses can be used to rapidly identify and classify enteroviruses. Enteroviruses are monophyletic by type only within the capsid region. The CVBs as a group are monophyletic in the capsid region, probably due to their shared use of the coxsackievirus-adenovirus receptor (other members of HEV-B use different receptors). Outside the capsid region, enteroviruses are monophyletic only by species (not by type), reflecting a high frequency of intertypic recombination within a species. Further genomic studies, accompanied by well-characterized clinical outcome/disease data, will facilitate fine-scale mapping of genetic determinants that contribute to virulence.