Basic rationale, current methods and future directions for molecular typing of human enterovirus

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Enterovirusis a genus of thePicornaviridaefamily including more than 80 serotypes belonging to four species designedHuman enterovirus AtoD.The antigens of the structural proteins support the subdivision of enteroviruses into multiple serotypes. Comparative phylogeny based on molecular typing methods has been of great help to classify former and new types of enterovirus, and to investigate the diversity of enteroviruses and the evolutionary mechanisms involved in their diversity. By now, molecular typing methods of enterovirus rely mainly on the sequencing of an amplicon targeting a variable part of the region coding for the capsid proteins (VP1 and, alternatively, VP2 or VP4), either from a strain recovered by cell culture or, more recently, by direct amplification of a clinical or environmental specimen. In the future, microarrays are thought to play a major role in enterovirus typing and in the analysis of the determinants of virulence that support the puzzling diversity of the pathological conditions associated with human infection by these viruses.

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