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Coxsackieviruses: A General Update

Coxsackieviruses: A General Update (Hardback)

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It is now just 40 years since coxsackieviruses were first isolated by Dalldorf and Sickles in the "eponymous" town of Coxsackie, New York. Yet the overall contribution of coxsackieviruses to clinically evident dis- ease of humans is still largely an open problem. Following their discov- ery, coxsackieviruses were under intense clinical and laboratory scrutiny for a long time. Because of their relationship to polioviruses, the under- standing of their structure, biochemistry, biology, and epidemiology ad- vanced rapidly as a result of the formidable efforts that eventually led to the defeat of poliomyelitis. The ability of these viruses to infect mice permitted dissection of their pathogenicity in an experimental host and elucidation of conditions that influence its expression. Coxsackieviruses have been progressively associated with an increasing array of widely diverse human diseases. However, only some of the suggested causal correlations have been substantiated with satisfactory certainty. For others, conclusive evidence has so far resisted investigation. Most impor- tant, among the latter are chronic maladies, such as dilated car- diomyopathy and juvenile diabetes, that demand consideration. In recent times, there has been a partial eclipse of the subject of coxsackieviruses in the medical literature. In addition to the difficulties encountered in pinpointing their pathogenic potential, possible reasons include the general decline of interest in enteroviruses, which ensued after the conquest of poliomyelitis, and the continuous appearance in the limelight of new, more esoteric, and therefore more "appealing" viruses.

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