Enterovirus, a genus within the family Picornaviridae, comprises enteroviruses, coxsackieviruses, rhinoviruses, polioviruses, and echoviruses. These are causative agents for a wide variety of illnesses ranging from the common cold to poliomyelitis and aseptic meningitis. In humans, they are among the most common infectious agents worldwide.
The genus is further divided into 12 species, enteroviruses (EV) A-J (which include the coxsackievirus (CV), poliovirus (PV), and echovirus subspecies) and rhinoviruses (RV) A-C. Within these, over 200 distinct serotypes have been identified.
These viruses were classified, and the genus named thus due to their tropism involving the human alimentary tract. However, their pathology is varied, and in some instances, poorly understood.
Alternative groupings in reviewed literature delineate:
Rhinoviruses versus non-rhinovirus enteroviruses
Polioviruses versus non-polio enteroviruses
Rhinoviruses and respiratory enteroviruses versus non-respiratory enteroviruses
Human enteroviruses (HEV) is used to describe enteroviruses A-J and excludes EV-I (camel-borne virus) and the rhinoviruses.
Except for the poliovirus vaccine, no vaccine or effective treatment exists against the diseases caused by these common viruses. Infections are usually self-limiting but can result in significant morbidity and economic impact.
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