Enterovirus Research Group

The Enterovirus Research Group studies the biologies of human enteroviruses, such as the coxsackieviruses. The group consists of a team of talented and experienced scientists with interests in enterovirus biology, pathogenesis and immunology. Our goal is to apply our diverse research interests and talents to understand basic questions of enterovirus biology. These results can then be applied to defeating enterovirus-induced disease and be used to complement and extend our knowledge of these important human viruses.

Enteroviruses are a large genus of viruses within a much larger family of viruses called the picornaviruses (Picornaviridae) of which the polio viruses are the best known. The Enterovirus Research Group focuses on a group of the enteroviruses called the group B coxsackieviruses (CVB), which have been shown to be causes of numerous minor as well as serious human diseases such as aseptic meningitis, myocarditis, pancreatitis, and myositis.

Our interests are primarily on three diseases: type 1 diabetes (T1D), which is believed to have an enteroviral etiology in some cases; myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, which is known to be induced by CVB infections; and acute and chronic pancreatitis.

We have assembled and characterized a library of different CVB strains for our studies. There are six serotypes of CVB, called CVB1-6. Serotypes differ primarily on the basis of how the immune system of the mouse or human recognizes the virus; otherwise, the CVB1-6 are quite similar. Within any serotype, there are near myriad strains or variants of the virus. We have used the CVB3 serotype predominantly as the model system for we have derived molecular clones of several CVB3 genomes, which enable the genetic manipulation of these viruses.

coxsackievirus B3 virion

Color enhanced image of the coxsackievirus B3 virion
(J-I. Sgro, University of Wisconsin, Madison)

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