Melnick, Joseph L. Department of Virology and Epidemiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
Last reviewed:April 2020
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A genus of the viral family Picornaviridae. Members of the genus Enterovirus, that is, enteroviruses, include the polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and rhinoviruses. They are small (17–28 nanometers in diameter), contain ribonucleic acid (RNA), and are resistant to ether. Most enteroviruses multiply chiefly in the alimentary tract and are stable under acid conditions (pH 3–5) for 1–3 h. Rhinoviruses, though, are isolated from the nose and throat rather than from the enteric tract. In general, enteroviruses are protected by magnesium chloride against inactivation by heat. Many enteroviruses can be grown in cell cultures of monkey origin, as well as in human cells. However, certain coxsackieviruses will not grow in cultures; they are usually studied by infecting newborn mice. Those strains that can be grown in tissue cultures usually grow best if the cultures are kept stationary and incubated at 37°C (98.6°F). See also: Coxsackievirus; Echovirus; Picornaviridae; Ribonucleic acid (RNA); Tissue culture; Virus; Virus classification
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