Coxsackie viruses are widely distributed in nature and have been encountered in all parts of the world. They have been isolated from both sexes and from children more frequently than from adults. Isolations have been made from human feces, nasopharyngeal swabbings, the central nervous system, and the myocardium, as well as from sewage, cockroaches, and house flies.1,2 γ-Globulin pooled from human sera neutralizes many Coxsackie viruses, indicating previous antigenic experience in wide population groups.3 In fact, so ubiquitous is the distribution of Coxsackie viruses in humans, that their role as pathogens has been questioned until recently.
The Coxsackie viruses constitute a heterogeneous group of filtrable agents with different antigenic and histopathological capacities. It is as yet uncertain whether they represent a true family of viruses or several unrelated species with a common affinity for infant animal hosts. On the basis of histopathologic differences induced in suckling mice, 24