What is the virology of enteroviruses?

Updated: Mar 17, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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The enteroviruses are icosahedral nonenveloped viruses that are approximately 30 nm in diameter.

They have a capsid composed of 60 subunits each formed from 4 proteins (VP1 to VP4).

They are stable at a pH from 3-10, distinguishing them from other picornaviruses (including rhinoviruses), which are unstable below pH 6.

A linear, single-strand RNA genome of about 7.5 kb is enclosed by the capsid; the translation product is a single polyprotein that is cleaved after translation by viral-coded proteases into the structural proteins (VP1 to VP4), RNA polymerase, proteases, and other nonstructural proteins. [14]

Enteroviruses resist lipid solvents, ether, chloroform, and alcohol. They are inactivated at temperatures above 50°C but remain infectious at refrigerator temperature.

Molar MgCl2 reduces thermolability at higher temperatures.

The viruses are inactivated by ionizing radiation, formaldehyde, and phenol.

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