Which infectious diseases and conditions are caused by enteroviruses?

Updated: Mar 17, 2021
  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Enteroviruses cause a wide range of infections. Poliovirus, the prototypical enterovirus, can cause a subclinical or mild illness, aseptic meningitis, or paralytic poliomyelitis, a disease that has been eradicated in the United States and other developed countries. The nonpolio viruses (group A and B coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, enteroviruses) continue to be responsible for a wide spectrum of diseases in persons of all ages, although infection and illness occur most commonly in infants.

Coxsackievirus infection is the most common cause of viral heart disease. Group A coxsackieviruses may cause flaccid paralysis, while group B coxsackieviruses cause spastic paralysis. Other diseases associated with group A coxsackievirus infections include hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) and hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, while group B coxsackievirus is associated with herpangina, pleurodynia, myocarditis, pericarditis, and meningoencephalitis. Aseptic meningitis and the common cold are associated with both groups.

Diseases caused by echoviral infections range from the common cold and fever to aseptic meningitis and acute hemorrhagic conjunctivitis (AHC).

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