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Viral Immunol. 2006 Summer;19(2):133-46.

Coxsackievirus myocarditis: interplay between virus and host in the pathogenesis of heart disease.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


Coxsackievirus (CVB) infection is a significant cause of myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Heart disease may be caused by direct cytopathic effects of the virus, a pathologic immune response to persistent virus, or autoimmunity triggered by the viral infection. CVB interacts with its host at multiple stages during disease development. Signaling through viral receptors may alter the intracellular environment in addition to facilitating virus entry. Viral genetic determinants that encode cardiovirulence have been mapped and may change depending on the nutritional status of the host. Virus persistence is directly associated with pathology, and recent work demonstrates that CVB evolves into a slowly replicating form capable of establishing a low-grade infection in the heart. The innate immune response to CVB has taken on increasing importance because of its role in shaping the development of the adaptive immune response that is responsible for cardiac pathology. Studies of T cell responsiveness and the development of autoimmunity at the molecular level are beginning to clarify the mechanisms through which CVB infection causes inflammatory heart disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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