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J Gen Virol. 2002 Feb;83(Pt 2):333-340. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-83-2-333.

Genetic clustering of all 102 human rhinovirus prototype strains: serotype 87 is close to human enterovirus 70.

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Enterovirus Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, National Public Health Institute (KTL), Mannerheimintie 166, FIN-00300 Helsinki, Finland1.


Human rhinoviruses (HRV), common agents of respiratory infections, comprise 102 designated serotypes. The genetic relationships of HRV prototype strains and the possibility of using genetic identification of a given HRV field strain were studied. Genomic sequences in the VP4/VP2 region were obtained from all 102 prototype strains. Phylogenetic analysis included 61 recently isolated Finnish field strains. Seventy-six out of the 102 prototype strains clustered in the HRV genetic group A and 25 in group B. Serotype 87 clustered separately and together with human enterovirus 70. The 'percentage' interserotypic differences were generally similar to those between different enterovirus serotypes, but for six pairs of HRV serotypes they were less than 10%. The maximum variation in genetic group A was 41% at the nucleotide level and 28% at the amino acid level, and in genetic group B 34% and 20%, respectively. Judging from the observed interserotypic differences, the 61 Finnish field isolates might represent as many as 19 different serotypes. One cluster of the field strains did not directly associate with any of the prototype strains and might represent a new serotype. However, larger numbers of field isolates of known serotype need to be characterized, possibly also in the VP1 region, to evaluate the feasibility of genetic typing of HRV strains.

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