Updated: 3/5/2020

Introduction to Picornaviruses

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Introduction
  • Picornaviruses are broken into 3 groups
    • enteroviruses 
      • acid-stable
      • most common in children
      • fecal-oral transmission
      • can cause aseptic (viral) meningitis
        • the most common cause of aseptic meningitis in the U.S.
      • can cause acute flaccid paralysis, acute disseminated myelitis, and acute transverse myelitis 
      • includes
        • poliovirus
        • coxsackievirus
        • echovirus
    • rhinoviruses
      • not acid-stable
      • grows at 33°C
      • includes
        • rhinovirus
    • hepatovirus
      • hepatitis A virus
  • Characteristics
    • small ("pico-RNA-virus")
    • naked capsid (non-enveloped)
      • resistant to alcohol and detergents
    • highest incidence in summer and fall seasons
    • RNA
      • single-stranded
      • positive-sense
      • linear
    • icosahedral
  • Translation process is unique
    • RNA translated into 1 large polypeptide
    • polypeptide then cleaved to form functional viral proteins
 

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