What is the role of lab studies in the diagnosis of coxsackievirus infection?

Updated: Aug 24, 2018
  • Author: Martha L Muller, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

Definitive diagnosis can be made based on isolation of the virus in cell culture. Cytopathic effect can usually be seen within 2-6 days. Samples are normally taken from the stool or rectal swabs but may be isolated from the oropharynx early in the disease course. False-positive culture results are possible, as excretion can occur for up to 8 weeks after initial infection. Serology can be difficult to interpret. Traditionally, enteroviral infections have been noted after a rise in neutralizing antibodies titer (at least a 4-fold rise in titer between acute and convalescent phase). PCR is also available, with a sensitivity of 66-90%.


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