Coxsackie A (23 serotypes) and Coxsackie B (6 serotypes) as well as Echo viruses (31 serotypes) belong to the genus of Enteroviruses. In addition, the same genus includes all three serotypes of the polio virus. All members of this group of viruses share the same physical, chemical and biological properties and similar epidemiological characteristics.
Enteroviruses are pathogenic viruses that are found almost everywhere and are transmitted primarily by the faecal-oral route as well as by air (with inhaled droplets). Enteroviruses enter the body through the respiratory tract (especially mouth and pharynx) and the intestine, where they infect and multiply in the epithelial cells of the mouth and pharynx and intestine. From there, the virus can be transmitted through the bloodstream to the cells of the reticuloendothelial system and to certain target tissues, such as the myocardium, the meninges, and the skin. While in the tropics there is no apparent seasonal outbreak of Enterovirus infections, in temperate climate countries these infections occur more frequently in summer and decrease in autumn. Most Enterovirus infections lead to mild symptoms, such as sore throat, rhinitis, fever, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and other symptoms of the common cold. Coxsackie viruses are responsible for the so-called summer flu and febrile infections.
There are 23 serotypes of Coxsackie A. Types 1, 4, 9, 16 and 23 can affect the heart causing pericarditis and progressive heart failure. Coxsackie type A are also associated with a severe form of conjunctivitis and respiratory disease.
There are six serotypes of Coxsackie B. Types 1 to 5 can affect the heart, causing pericarditis and progressive heart failure. The same types of Coxsackie can cause pleurodynia, a disease of limited duration (1 week) in which the patient feels sharp chest or abdominal pain, along with fever and headache. Types 2 to 5 cause most cases of viral meningitis.
Diseases caused by type A Coxsackie viruses
Acute febrile respiratory disease, acute flaccid paralysis, conjunctivitis (epidemic haemorrhage), carditis, myositis.
Diseases caused by Coxsackie type B viruses
Acute febrile respiratory disease, aseptic meningitis (viral), chorioretinitis, carditis, epidemic pleurodynia, fulminant hepatitis, hand - foot - mouth disease, oral rash (Herpangina), myocarditis, pericarditis, pleuritis.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. Correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.