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Complete Genomes of All Known Human Rhinoviruses are Published
Date:2/12/2009

First comprehensive sequencing and analysis of strains responsible for common cold and other respiratory illnesses, give clues to evolution and diversity of the virus

ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A team of researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI); the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Wisconsin, Madison; announced today they have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of all known human rhinoviruses (HRVs). David Spiro, Ph.D., JCVI; Steve Liggett, M.D., the University of Maryland School of Medicine; and Ann Palmenberg, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison led the team whose work was published today in Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science.

Rhinoviruses, part of the Picornaviridae family, are immediately familiar as the cause of the common cold, but they are also responsible for acute lower respiratory symptoms, and are a major cause of emergency room visits for patients suffering from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The direct and indirect cost of treating these illnesses is billions of dollars yearly, thus finding new ways to treat and perhaps prevent these illnesses could substantially cut health care costs.

Rhinoviruses are traditionally divided into two groups, HRV-A and HRV-B, consisting of 99 viral serotypes. The extraordinary genetic diversity of circulating rhinovirus serotypes has prevented the production of a universal vaccine for the common cold. A recently discovered third group of rhinoviruses, HRV-C, has swept the globe causing severe lower respiratory symptoms in patients.

To better understand the biology, diversity and evolution of human rhinoviruses, the researchers in this study sequenced and analyzed the genomes of all known HRV-A and B reference strains, as well as 10 new field isolates. The who
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SOURCE J. Craig Venter Institute
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