Since the discovery of the prototype Coxsackie viruses by Dalldorf and Sickles, in 1948,1 the existence of a number of additional immunologically different types has been uncovered. The known Coxsackie viruses have been placed in two different groups on the basis of histopathological changes produced in the mouse. At the present time, there are at least 19 immunologically different viruses within Group A and 5 immunologically different types within Group B.
The viruses of the Coxsackie family have a ubiquitous distribution, and their recovery from the stools of normal persons, or at least from persons with no objective or subjective evidence of illness, is by no means unusual. However, the accumulating evidence over the past few years has served to establish the causal relationship of the Coxsackie viruses to certain diseases. Thus, it is now generally accepted that viruses in the Coxsackie A group are the etiologic agents of