The Virus

Rhinovirus and Enterovirus are two genera in the family Picornaviridae. They are small (28-32 nm) single-stranded RNA viruses (Figure 9.2).

Rhinovirus now comprises more than 100 different serotypes, and new types are still being identified. As with other picorna-viruses the virion capsid consists of a naked icosahedron of 60 capsomers, each made up of four proteins. Depressions in the virus capsid represent the sites on the virus where the cellular receptors bind. These depressions ('sockets') are the targets for experimental studies of synthetic anti-rhinoviral agents. A fifth protein is associated with the single-stranded RNA. Due to the lack of a lipid envelope, the virus is resistant to inactivation by organic solvents. Rhinoviruses are more acid-labile than enteroviruses.

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