Concluding Remarks

Understandably, in terms of research effort, for many years the animal enteroviruses have been the poor cousins of their human 'relatives'. The greatly expanded sequence database has led to a wholescale reappraisal of the taxonomy of these viruses. It is clear that within this group close relationships exist between animal and human viruses and that viruses have passed from man to animals, and vice versa. The high mutation rate in combination with high frequency of recombination means these viruses can rapidly adapt to new host species. Animal enteroviruses are, therefore, worthy of study not only for their intrinsic interest and economic impact but, through enzoonosis, they pose an ever-present threat to human health.

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