Resistance of Echovirus 11 to ClO2 Is Associated with Enhanced Host Receptor Use, Altered Entry Routes, and High Fitness

Qingxia Zhong, Anna Carratalà, Hyunjin Shim, Virginie Bachmann, Jeffrey Jensen, Tamar Kohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Waterborne viruses can exhibit resistance to common water disinfectants, yet the mechanisms that allow them to tolerate disinfection are poorly understood. Here, we generated echovirus 11 (E11) with resistance to chlorine dioxide (ClO2) by experimental evolution, and we assessed the associated genotypic and phenotypic traits. ClO2 resistance emerged after E11 populations were repeatedly reduced (either by ClO2-exposure or by dilution) and then regrown in cell culture. The resistance was linked to an improved capacity of E11 to bind to its host cells, which was further attributed to two potential causes: first, the resistant E11 populations possessed mutations that caused amino acid substitutions from ClO2-labile to ClO2-stable residues in the viral proteins, which likely increased the chemical stability of the capsid toward ClO2. Second, resistant E11 mutants exhibited the capacity to utilize alternative cell receptors for host binding. Interestingly, the emergence of ClO2 resistance resulted in an enhanced replicative fitness compared to the less resistant starting population. Overall this study contributes to a better understanding of the mechanism underlying disinfection resistance in waterborne viruses, and processes that drive resistance development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10746-10755
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 19 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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