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Coxsackie Viruses

Genome: RNA Virus, Positive ssRNA Virus Structure: Nonenveloped Virus, Icosahedral Virus
  • Coxsackie Viruses are a family of related viruses which can cause a variety of pathologies in humans. Although the clinical consequences of specific viruses often overlap, two basic groupings of Coxsackie Viruses have been described, A and B.
Clinical Consequences
  • Overview
    • In most cases, infection with coxsackie viruses is subclinical; however, the following clinical syndromes may also results.
  • Aseptic Meningitis
    • Both Group A and Group B viruses are an extremely common cause of asceptic meningitis. Fever together with meningismus are common signs along with a lymphocytic CSF pleocytosis. Progression to encephalitis is rare but can occur.
  • Upper Respiratory Infection
    • Both groups of coxsackie viruses are thought to be a fairly frequent causes of the common cold.
  • Skin Rash
    • Both groups of coxsackie viruses are frequent causes of exanthems especially in children and can manifest in a variety of gross morphologies depending on the specific virus.
  • Herpangina
    • This self-limited syndrome is caused primarily by Group A viruses and is characterized by fever and a pharyngitis with visible grey-ish vesicles on an erythematous base in the pharynx.
  • Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease
    • A self-limited febrile syndrome caused by Group A viruses characterized by a pharyngitis with attendant pharyngeal vesicles. A vesicular skin rash also develops on the hands and feet, thus giving the disease its namesake.
  • Pleurodynia
    • A self-limited syndrome usually caused by Group B viruses characterized by chest pain and occasionally abdominal pain with attendant fever.
  • Myocarditis and Acute Pericarditis
    • Group B coxsackie viruses are one of the most common causes of myocarditis (See page). Infection can also spread to the pericardium and cause acute pericarditis.