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Picornaviruses afflict the animal kingdom with a wide range of maladies, notably the common cold, encephalitis, hepatitis, meningitis, and polio in humans and the economically devastating foot-and-mouth disease in animals. With contributions from leading experts from around the world, this volume examines the most current breakthroughs as well as the challenges that lie ahead in picornavirus research. Based on the most recent basic and clinical research findings, The Picornaviruses encapsulates our current knowledge of the molecular biology, evolution, and pathogenesis of this large family of viruses. In addition, it examines the diseases that these viruses cause and the latest vaccines and antiviral drugs to prevent and control those diseases. The first eleven chapters explore the structural and mechanistic bases of picornavirus replication, highlighting new insights about the host cell interactions needed for virus growth. The next six chapters illustrate how the regular occurrence of mutations, typical of viruses with RNA as genetic material, generates the quasispecies dynamics that underlie viral fitness. Together with more drastic recombination events, the book shows how this error-prone RNA replication may have generated the variety of viruses embodied in the different picornavirus genera. The final twelve chapters focus on picornaviruses that cause disease, examining pathogenicity and innate and acquired immune responses against infection as well as the latest vaccine and antiviral drug strategies. Synthesizing the latest developments in the study of picornaviruses, the book underscores our growing understanding of the close connections among picornavirus biology, diversity, evolution, and disease. Moreover, it serves as a springboard for developing new approaches to understanding this important family of viruses as well as preventing and treating picornaviral diseases. Key Features· Discusses new and recently discovered picornavirus genera· Presents new data regarding molecular mechanisms of virus replication· Develops models for viral hijacking of cellular components during infection· Reviews the impact of polymerase fidelity and quasispecies dynamics in the behavior of picornaviruses· Presents current knowledge about the pathogenesis of picornavirus diseases, including the role of virus persistence and immunopathogenesis· Describes new developments surrounding innate immune responses to picornavirus infections· Reviews the status of the global effort to eradicate polio· Presents current approaches to developing anti-picornavirus drugs and vaccines
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