Arch Virol (2002) 147: 131–142
Phylogenetic and serological characterization of echovirus 11
and echovirus 19 strains causing uveitis
A. N. Lukashev
, V. A. Lashkevich
, G. A. Koroleva
and G. G. Karganova
Institute of Poliomyelitis and Viral Encephalitides RAMS, Moscow, Russia
Biochemistry and Pharmacy Department, Åbo Akademi University, Turku, Finland
Accepted July 13, 2001
Summary. The strains of echovirus 19 (EV19) and echovirus 11 (EV11), isolated
from infants with similar clinical symptoms of acute enterovirus uveitis (EU) in
Russia (Siberia) in 1980–1989, were investigated phylogenetically (nucleotide
sequence of a 300 nt fragment in 5
NTR and VP4 junction) and serologically.
The result conﬁrmed that viruses belong to the Enterovirus genus, with 58–80%
nt sequence homology with previously sequenced enteroviruses, and showed the
genetical identity between the strains isolated during each of ﬁve outbreaks of
the EU. The results also demonstrated that isolates from the last three outbreaks
of EU belong to the same phylogenetic group despite the remarkable spatial
and temporal distance between the outbreaks. The results conﬁrm the role of
these echoviruses in the etiology of the EU. Based on phylogenetic and sero-
logical comparisons the studied strains were divided into three distinct groups:
groupI, EV19/K (Krasnoyarsk, 1980–1981), groupII, EV11/A (Krasnoyarsk,
1982), groupIII, EV11/B (Krasnoyarsk, 1986; Omsk, 1987–1988; Irkutsk, 1989).
Minor details of the epidemiology of the outbreaks were also revealed.
The true role of non-polio enteroviruses in human pathology is not yet adequately
investigated. Most often, enteroviruses cause light or asymptomatic infection.
In spite of that, non-polio enteroviruses are considered to be important human
pathogens because sometimes they cause myocarditis [1, 14, 30], multi-system
hemorrhagic disease of newborns [2, 26], meningitis [3, 32], acute hemorrhagic
conjunctivitis [9, 39] and other diseases.
Enterovirus uveitis (EU) is a severe disease of eyes in infants that was identi-
ﬁed only two decades ago . Several outbreaks of EU were registered in Russia
in 1980’s in different regions of Siberia (Table 1).