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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Virology Journal 1/2017

Molecular evolution of two asymptomatic echovirus 6 strains that constitute a novel branch of recently epidemic echovirus 6 in China

Virology Journal > Ausgabe 1/2017
Hao Sun, Xiaoqin Huang, Keqin Lin, Kai Huang, Jiayou Chu, Zhaoqing Yang, Shaohui Ma
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12985-017-0809-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Echovirus 6 (E6) infections are associated with aseptic meningitis and acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). But some infections, sometimes most of them, are asymptomatic. The mechanism of E6 virulence is unknown. Analyses of the molecular evolution of asymptomatic E6 may help understand why the infections show different manifestations.


Ninety-six stool samples of healthy children in Yunnan, China were collected and two E6 strains were isolated from them. The whole genomes of these two E6 strains were sequenced, and their molecular evolution was analyzed.


The results showed that the two E6 strains may be derived from KJ7724XX strains, which were predominant in AFP patients in Shangdong in 2011. The evolution was accelerated when the two E6 strains formed, although no positive selection site was found. The 11 exclusive mutations on which selection force significantly changed were found in the 2C, 3AB and 3C genes.


There are some E6 strains which did not cause the disease in the children of Yunnan. These E6 strains maybe come from a recombinant E6 strain which was associated with the outbreak of AFP in Shangdong in 2011. However, some new mutations were found in the 2C, 3AB and 3C genes of these asymptomatic strains, and these mutations may be constraint by the natural selection and could be potentially responsible for clinical presentations.
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