Enterovirus D68 molecular and cellular biology and pathogenesis

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In recent years, enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) has advanced from a rarely detected respiratory virus to a widespread pathogen responsible for increasing rates of severe respiratory illness and acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) in children worldwide. In this review, we discuss the accumulating data on the molecular features of EV-D68 and place these into the context of enterovirus biology in general. We highlight similarities and differences with other enteroviruses and genetic divergence from own historical prototype strains of EV-D68. These include changes in capsid antigens, host cell receptor usage, and viral RNA metabolism collectively leading to increased virulence. Furthermore, we discuss the impact of EV-D68 infection on the biology of its host cells, and how these changes are hypothesized to contribute to motor neuron toxicity in AFM. We highlight areas in need of further research, including the identification of its primary receptor and an understanding of the pathogenic cascade leading to motor neuron injury in AFM. Finally, we discuss the epidemiology of the EV-D68 and potential therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100317
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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