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Int J Infect Dis. 2010 Sep;14(9):e739-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2009.12.002. Epub 2010 Apr 18.

Enterovirus 71 vaccine: close but still far.

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School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Laboratory for Tropical Disease Control and Prevention, Guangdong Provincial Research Center for Severe Infectious Disease Prevention and Control Technology, Guangzhou 510080, China.



Enterovirus 71 (EV71), a member of the Enterovirus genus of the Picornaviridae family, is one of the causative pathogens of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) and the most common etiological agent isolated from HFMD patients complicated with neurological disorders. EV71 has become an increasingly important neurotropic enterovirus in the post-poliomyelitis eradication era. Effective antiviral agents and vaccines against this virus are currently still under development. We reviewed publications on the development of EV71 vaccines in order to provide an overview of the field.


Fifty-five articles on EV71 vaccine development, published from 1974 to 2009, were collected from Sun Yat-sen University library and reviewed.


Various types of vaccine have been developed for EV71. In results published to date, all vaccines for EV71 under development appear to elicit an immune response in rodents or in monkeys. According to the established regulatory standards, it may be relatively easy to acquire a license to use the inactivated virus in order to meet the immediate demands for EV71 control . With regard to the attenuated vaccine, it is critical to increase the genetic stability before clinical use, due to the risk of virulent revertants. The virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine, not only conserving the conformational epitopes, but also having no risk of virulent revertants, is another promising vaccine candidate for EV71, but needs further development. The VP1 capsid protein is the backbone antigen protein for developing subunit vaccine and epitope vaccine; these remain viable potential vaccine strategies worthy of further study and development.


The conservation of the three-dimensional structure is important for the EV71 inactivated vaccine and VLP vaccine to induce a strong immune response. To develop EV71 vaccines with a high protection efficacy, strategies such as the use of adjuvant, strong promoters, tissue-specific promoters, and addition of mucosal immune adjuvant should be considered.

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