The Indian Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 289–298 | Cite as

Coxsackie virus infections in rheumatic fever

  • S. R. Zaher
  • A. S. Kassem
  • J. J. Hughes
Original Articles


The close relationship between Group A beta Hemolytic Streptococci (GABS) and rheumatic fever is a well established one. However, the concept of the streptococcus as the sole etiologic agent of the rheumatic heart disease (RHD) has been challenged over the past years. Since coxsackievirus group B (CVB) has long been proposed as a cause of acquired valvular disease simulating rheumatic fever, we attempted in this study to document infections with this group of viruses in patients with rheumatic fever. We obtained blood samples from 106 patients with old (quiescent) rheumatic fever/rheumatic heart disease [group I], 94 patients with acute rheumatic fever (ARF) [group II], and 74 normal matched controls. We tested for the presence of neutralizing antibodies to the 6 serotypes of CVB by a micro neutralization test. We have found that infection with CVB, especially types B2 and B4, was common in the studied population. Forty two percent of normal individuals had evidence of infection with any of the 6 serotypes of CVB. Patients of group I had significantly more frequent infections with CVB 2. Patients in group II had significantly more frequent infections with CVB 2 and CVB 6. There was no clear correlation between such infections and the clinical course of rheumatic fever. There was no difference in the incidence of CVB infections between patients with definite ARF, and patients with suspected ARF. We set a low order association between rheumatic fever and infection with CVB types B2 and B6. We emphasize the importance of pursuing the investigation of the role of CVB in relation to RHD.

Key words

Rheumatic fever Coxsackie virus infections Rheumatic heart disease 


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Copyright information

© Dr. K C Chaudhuri Foundation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. R. Zaher
    • 2
  • A. S. Kassem
    • 2
  • J. J. Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Alexandria, El Shatby Hospital for ChildrenAlexandriaEgypt

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