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Evolution, recombination and geographic spreading of global Coxsackievirus A6.

BACKGROUND: The increasing incidence of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) associated with Coxsackievirus A6 (CVA6) has become a very significant public health problem. The aim of this study is to investigate the recombination, geographic transmission, and evolutionary characteristics of the global CVA6.

METHODS: From 2019 to 2022, 73 full-length CVA6 sequences were obtained from HFMD patients in China and analyzed in combination with 1032 published whole genome sequences. Based on this dataset, the phylogenetic features, recombinant diversity, Bayesian phylodynamic characteristics, and key amino acid variations in CVA6 were analyzed.

RESULTS: The four genotypes of CVA6, A, D, E, and F, are divided into 24 recombinant forms (RFs, RF-A - RF-X) based on differences in the P3 coding region. The eastern China region plays a key role in the dissemination of CVA6 in China. VP1-137 and VP1-138 are located in the DE loop on the surface of the CVA6 VP1 protein, with the former being a highly variable site and the latter having more non-synonymous substitutions.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on whole genome sequences, this study contributes to the CVA6 monitoring, early warning, and the pathogenic mechanism by studying recombination diversity, geographical transmission characteristics, and the variation of important amino acid sites.

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