Recombination in the evolution of human rhinovirus genomes.
McIntyre CL., Savolainen-Kopra C., Hovi T., Simmonds P.
Human rhinoviruses (HRV) are highly prevalent human respiratory pathogens that belong to the genus Enterovirus. Although recombination within the coding region is frequent in other picornavirus groups, most evidence of recombination in HRV has been restricted to the 5' untranslated region. We analysed the occurrence of recombination within published complete genome sequences of members of all three HRV species and additionally compared sequences from HRV strains spanning 14 years. HRV-B and HRV-C showed very little evidence of recombination within the coding region. In contrast, HRV-A sequences appeared to have undergone a large number of recombination events, typically involving whole type groups. This suggests that HRV-A may have been subject to extensive recombination during the period of diversification into types. This study demonstrates the rare and sporadic nature of contemporary recombination of HRV strains and contrasts with evidence of extensive recombination within HRV-A and between members of different species during earlier stages in its evolutionary diversification.