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Ann Biol Clin (Paris). 2012 Mar-Apr;70(2):189-98. doi: 10.1684/abc.2012.0688.

[Genetic variability of type 3 echoviruses].

[Article in French]

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Laboratoire de référence OMS pour la poliomyélite et la rougeole, Institut Pasteur, Tunis, Tunisie.


The aim of the present work was to assess the genetic and antigenic variability in the VP1 region of type 3 echviruses (E-3), an enterovirus serotype associated to meningitis, neuro-muscular diseases and type 1 diabetes in human. Forty-six VP1 sequences of E-3, among which 9 were isolated in tunisian infants, were included. Phylogenetic analyses and nucleotidic divergence rates were studied in the complete VP1 region and in a 290-nucleotides fragment in the 5' part of the P1. Aminoacid sequences were deduced in the aim to identify genotype-specific antigenetic determinants. E-3 sequences divided into two genogroups, I and II; the genetic variability within the E-3 serotype reached 29.1%. Genogroup I included sequences with a relatively high genetic diversity among each other, some of them grouped in one genotype with at most 15.1% divergence rate. The sequences included in Genogroup II have a maximum of 13.8% divergence corresponding probably to only one genotype. The two genogroups have a concomitant circulation and a wide geographical and temporal distribution. Aminoacid substitutions that may be specific to genogroups, genotypes and special variant were noted. This work provides a first tentative of classification of E-3 into genogroups and genotypes and reports new E-3 sequences from North Africa. It contributes to a better understanding of the molecular epidemiology of human enteroviruses, and of Echoviruses type 3 in particular, a serotype that remains insufficiently studied in the international literature.

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