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The structure of foot-and-mouth disease virus has been solved at a resolution of 2.9 A by X-ray diffraction techniques. The overall structural organisation of the particle is similar to that seen in other picornaviruses but there are several unique features. Many of these help to explain its characteristic physical and biological properties. In particular the canyon or pit found at the surface of other picornaviruses is lacking, which has important implications for cell attachment and the process of infection. Also there are 60 large disordered protrusions at the surface corresponding to the major antigenic site. This disorder is of particular interest in relation to the striking ability of linear synthetic peptides to induce protective immunity against foot-and-mouth disease.


Journal article


Vet Microbiol

Publication Date





21 - 34


Animals, Antigens, Viral, Aphthovirus, Receptors, Virus, Viral Proteins, X-Ray Diffraction