Human enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) belongs to the Enterovirus A species in the Picornaviridae family. Several vaccines against EV-A71, a disease causing severe neurological complications or even death, are currently under development and being tested in clinical trials, and preventative vaccination programs are expected to start soon. To characterize the potential for antigenic change of EV-A71, we compared the sequences of two antigenically diverse genotype B4 and B5 strains of EV-A71 and identified substitutions at residues 98, 145, and 164 in the VP1 capsid protein as antigenic determinants. To examine the effects of these three substitutions on antigenicity, we constructed a series of recombinant viruses containing different mutation combinations at these three residues with a reverse genetics system and then investigated the molecular basis of antigenic changes with antigenic cartography. We found that a novel EV-A71 mutant, containing lysine, glutamine, and glutamic acid at the respective residues 98, 145, and 164 in the VP1 capsid protein, exhibited neutralization reduction against patients' antisera and substantially increased virus binding ability to human cells. These observations indicated that this low-neutralization-reactive EV-A71 VP1-98K/145Q/164E mutant potentially increases viral binding ability and that surveillance studies should look out for these mutants, which could compromise vaccine efficacy.,
Journal of Virology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Huang, S.-W, Tai, C.-H, Fonville, J.M, Lin, C.-H, Wang, S.-M, Liu, C.-C, … Wang, J.-R. (2015). Mapping enterovirus A71 antigenic determinants from viral evolution. Journal of Virology, 89(22), 11500–11506. doi:10.1128/JVI.02035-15