Kelly Jones

Project title: Development of a Strand-Specific Method to Detect Infectious Human Enterovirus-b (HEV-B) Species in Environmental Samples

Degree: MS | Program: Environmental Health (EH) | Project type: Thesis/Dissertation
Completed in: 2010 | Faculty advisor: John Meschke


Development of a Strand-Specific Method to Detect Infectious Human Enterovirus-B (HEV-B) Species in Environmental Samples

Human enteroviruses (HEV) are significant public health concerns, and are composed of over sixty different serotypes traditionally classified as poliovirus, coxsackievirus A, coxsackievirus B, echovirus, and several numbered enteroviruses (McLean, 1966). This taxonomy stems from early research on enteroviruses, when the isolated organism was classified based on the clinical symptoms of the disease (Khetsuriani et al., 2006); however recent molecular and biological analyses have reorganized these serotypes into four distinct species: Human Enterovirus A (HEV-A), Human Enterovirus B (HEV-B), Human Enterovirus C (HEV-C), and Human Enterovirus D (HEV-D) (King et al., 2000). Serotypes are still referred to by their traditional taxonomy, but they are also now identified by their species group.

The first half of the 20th century was marked by large epidemics of poliovirus (reclassified as a HEV-C species) and its associated disease, poliomyelitis; however, the widespread use of vaccines contributed to its eventual eradication in the western hemisphere (Roush et a., 2007). Subsequently, non-polio enterovirus species have been recognized as significant agents of emerging infectious diseases within the United States and many other developed countries around the world (Palacios and Oberste, 2005). Indeed, national viral watch programs have estimated 10-15 million symptomatic non-polio enterovirus infections per year (Strikas et al., 1986), with 30-50 thousand requiring hospitalization (Gregory et al., 2006). In 1961, the National Enterovirus Surveillance System (NESS) was developed t monitor non-polio enterovirus outbreaks within the United States, identifying the causative isolate in 94% of the reported cases (Khetsuriani et al., 2006). Enterovirus circulation and epidemics vary temporally and geographically, yet 83.5% of all reported infections from 1970-2005 were attributed to fifteen of the more than sixty known human enterovirus serotypes (Khetsuriani et al., 2006). These fifteen isolates are all HEV-B species, which include all echovirus (E1-7, 9, 11-21, 24-27, 29-33), coxsackievirus B (CVB1-6), coxsackievirus A9, and numbered enterovirus (EV69, 73, 75, 79, 81, 83, 85, 86, 97, 100) serotypes.