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Intervirology. 1993;35(1-4):140-51.

Molecular pathogenesis of enterovirus-induced myocarditis: virus persistence and chronic inflammation.

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Institute of Pathology, University of Tübingen, FRG.


In situ hybridization studies have proved that myocardial enterovirus infections are detectable in all stages of acute and chronic enterovirus-induced myocarditis as well as in some patients with end-stage dilated cardiomyopathy, suggesting the possibility of myocardial enterovirus persistence. Possible enterovirus persistence in the human heart is supported by the discovery of enterovirus persistence in different murine models of chronic myocarditis, demonstrating that coxsackievirus B3, typically a cytolytic enterovirus, is capable of evading immunological surveillance in a host-dependent fashion. Progress is currently being made in unraveling the molecular mechanisms of enterovirus persistence, the diversity of host and virus genetics and their impact on the nature and severity of the disease. Apart from providing an etiologic diagnosis, there are therapeutic implications from the in situ demonstration of myocardial enterovirus infection. Evaluation of specific antiviral agents, for example interferons, may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies capable of providing protection against myocardial enterovirus infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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