As a neurotropic virus, enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) emerge and remerge in the Asia-Pacific region since the 1990s, and has continuously been a threat to global public health, especially in children. Annually, EV-A71 results in hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) and occasionally causes severe neurological disease. Here we reviewed the global epidemiology and genotypic evolution of EV-A71 since 1997. The natural selection, mutation and recombination events observed in the genetic evolution were described. In addition, we have updated the antigenicity and virulence determinants that are known to date. Understanding EV-A71 epidemiology, genetic evolution, antigenicity, and virulence determinants can expand our insights of EV-A71 pathogenesis, which may benefit us in the future.
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