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In 1948, G. Doldorf and G. Sickles isolated from the contents of the intestine of patients with poliomyelitis-like disease of children a virus close to polioviruses, but differing from them not only in antigenic properties, but also in virulence for newborn mice (poliovirus type I and III pathogen only for monkeys, type II poliovirus can adapt to cotton rats). This virus was isolated in the town of Coxsackie (New York State), so G. Doldorf proposed to temporarily name this and similar viruses by the viruses of the Coxsackie group. This name has survived to the present day.
As it turned out, Coxsackie viruses are widespread in nature, represented by a variety of options. According to their virological and epidemiological properties, they are in many respects similar to polioviruses and play a significant role in human pathology. It should be noted that Coxsackie viruses are the most cardiotropic of all enteroviruses. In 20-40% of patients under the age of 20 years, Coxsackie infection is complicated by myocarditis. Coxsackie viruses are represented by two groups: the Coxsackie A group includes 23 serovariants (A1-A22, 24); the Coxsackie group B includes six serovariants (B1-B6).
Coxsackie viruses in group A cause mild paralysis in neonatal mice due to the defeat of skeletal musculature. Unlike them, Coxsackie viruses cause damage to the central nervous system in newborn mice, and changes in muscles are poorly expressed. Characteristic of the infection is necrosis of brown interlobular fat. In addition, some Coxsackie serovars (20, 21, 24) and all Coxsackie serovars have, in contrast to polioviruses, hemagglutinating properties.
It was also estimated that Coxsackie A viruses, unlike Coxsackie B viruses, do not multiply in human cell cultures. But it turned out that a number of serovars Coxsackie A, like Coxsackie B and polioviruses, can multiply in human cell cultures. Coxsackie A and B viruses can cause a person in addition to polio-lithoid-like diseases, sometimes accompanied by paralysis, and various other diseases with a peculiar clinic:
- aseptic meningitis,
- epidemic myalgia (Bornholm disease),
- a small disease,
- acute respiratory infections,
- myocarditis (cardiotrophy is more pronounced in Coxsackie viruses).
- hand-foot-mouth syndrome.
Along with the viruses of rubella and mumps, Coxsackie viruses C, causing pancreatitis, can play a significant role in the etiology of diabetes. It is also possible intrauterine transmission of Coxsackie viruses from the mother with a persistent form of Coxsackie infection to the fetus is a congenital chronic form of Coxsackie infection, often in the background of congenital immunodeficiency.