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A study of Coxsackie B virus infections, 1972–1983

  • Eleanor J. Bell (a1) and Robert A. McCartney (a1)

Summary

The results of a twelve-year study of Coxsackie B virus (CBV) infections in patients with a variety of acute and chronic illnesses are reported. CBVs were isolated from only 123 patients most of whom were children with respiratory illness. Virus diagnosis in adults was based mainly on the detection of significant rising or static high neutralizing antibody titrcs. Between 1972 and 1979 most investigations centred on patients with suspected viral heart disease, 12% of whom were found to have diagnostically significant CBV titres. In studies on patients with definite myo-pericarditis the number positive increased to 33%. In 1980 clinical interest switched to the possible role of CBV in myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), an illness of diverse symptomatology. Investigation of suspected cases of ME in 1983 showed that 16% were serologically positive compared to 4% of normal adults in the West of Scotland. In patients with well-documented ME this figure rose to 41%.

The demand by clinicians for CBV neutralizing antibody tests has increased over the past twelve years and continues to escalate annually, especially in patients with chronic relapsing illness.

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Copyright

References

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Behan, P. O. (1980). Epidemic Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. The Practitioner 224, 805807.
Bell, E. J., Irvine, K. G., Gardiner, A. J. S. & Rodger, J. C. (1983). Coxsackie B infection in a General Medical Unit. Scottish Medical Journal 28, 157159.
Calder, B. D. & Warnock, P. J. (1984). Coxsackie B infection in a Scottish General Practice. Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 34, 1519.
Dörries, R. & Ter Meulen, V. (1983). Specificity of IgM antibodies in acute human Coxsackie B infections, analysed by indirect solid phase enzyme immunoassay and immunoblot technique. Journal of General Virology 64, 159167.
Feqan, K. G., Behan, P. O. & Bell, E. J. (1983). Myalgic encephalomyelitis – report of an epidemic. Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 33, 335337.
Griffiths, P. D., Hannington, G. & Booth, J. C. (1980). Coxsackie B virus infections and myocardial infarction. Lancet i, 13871389.
Grist, N. R. & Bell, E. J. (1974). A six-year study of Coxsackie B infections in heart disease. Journal of Hygiene 73, 165172.
Grist, N. R., Bell, E. J., Follett, E. A. C. & Urquhart, G. E. D. (1979). Diagnostic Methods in Clinical Virology. Oxford: Blackwell.
Keighley, B. D. & Bell, E. J. (1983). Sporadic myalgic encephalomyelitis in a rural practice. Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 33, 339341.
King, M. L., Shaikh, A., Bidwell, D., Voller, A. & Banatvala, J. E. (1983). Coxsackie-B-virus-specific IgM responses in children with insulin-dependent (juvenile-onset; type I) diabetes mellitus. Lancet i, 13971399.
Morgan-Capner, P. & McSorley, C. (1983). Antibody capture radioimmunoassay (MACRIA) for coxsackievirus B4 and B5-specific IgM. Journal of Hygiene 90, 333349.
O'Neill, D., McArthur, J. D., Kennedy, J. A.& Clements, G. (1983). Coxsackie B infection in coronary care unit patients. Journal of Clinical Pathology 36, 658661.
Wood, S. F., Rogen, A. S., Bell, E. J. & Grist, N. R. (1978). Role of Coxsackie B viruses in myocardial infarction. British Heart Journal 40, 523525.

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