Cooperative effect of the VP1 amino acids 98E, 145A and 169F in the productive infection of mouse cell lines by enterovirus 71 (BS strain)
Researchers have identified key genes behind the infectivity of a virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease. Humans are the only known mammalian host, but in 2014, strains were bred that were capable of infecting mice and primate cell lines. These strains had mutant versions of the virus coat proteins. In this study, the same research group, led by Kaw Bing Chua and Vincent Chow at the National University of Singapore, introduced the mutations into the non-infectious strain individually and in combinations. All five mutations enabled the virus to enter mouse cells but only a subset led to viral replication. None of the mutated viruses caused disease symptoms in mice, suggesting that additional genetic changes contribute to the virulence of the bred strains. Identifying these changes will improve our understanding of the virus's infection process.