Coxsackie B (also written coxsackievirus B) is a type of enterovirus. There are several different serotypes of Coxsackie B known to infect humans.
In a mouse model of myocarditis, Coxsackievirus infection was found to upregulate Toll-like receptor 4 on mast cells and macrophages immediately following infection. It also increased numbers of mast cells.
In human disease
Research has shown that many patients with ME have persistently elevated levels of Coxsackie B IgM or IgG antibodies as well as circulating immune complexes containing viral antigen, indicating the possible presence of a persistent infection. Elevated Coxsackie B antibodies have been found in patients in at least two ME outbreaks. In a retrospective cohort study by Melvin Ramsay and Elizabeth Dowsett, 31% of the patients were found to have elevated enteroviral IgM antibody levels. Sixteen of these patients were retested annually over three years and all showed persistently elevated Coxsackie B neutralizing antibody levels and intermittently positive enteroviral IgM, suggesting a persistent infection was present.
Type 1 diabetes
In the United States, ARUP Laboratories offers a serum microneutralization assay that is designed to measure the concentration of serum antibodies to six serotypes of the virus; B1 through B6. This specific assay has been shown to be sensitive for detection of chronic infections in ME patients. A persistent fourfold or greater rise in antibody titer is often found in these patients, which is not often found in healthy controls.
A complement fixation assay for Coxsackie B serotypes is available in the United States from LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, however this specific type of assay has not been found to be sensitive for the chronic infections found in ME patients.
There are no approved vaccines or antivirals for Coxsackie viruses. However, preliminary research (often in animal models or in vitro) have been shown various compounds to have potential antiviral effects.
- Fegan, KG; Behan, PO; Bell, EJ (1 Jun 1983), "Myalgic encephalomyelitis — report of an epidemic", J R Coll Gen Pract, 33 (251): 335–337, PMID 6310104
- Calder, BD; Warnock, PJ (Jan 1984), "Coxsackie B infection in a Scottish general practice", Jrnl Royal Coll Gen Pract, 34 (258): 15–19, PMID 6319691
- Dowsett, EG; Ramsay, AM; McCartney, RA; Bell, EJ (1 Jul 1990), "Myalgic encephalomyelitis--a persistent enteroviral infection?", Postgraduate Medical Journal, 66 (777): 526–530, PMID 2170962, doi:10.1136/pgmj.66.777.526