Some Viruses that Cause Multisystem Disease

Multisystem Disease

Some viruses can cause multisystem diseases including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. For instance, Enteroviruses, which include coxsackieviruses and echoviruses, can cause various multisystem syndromes, as can cytomegaloviruses. In addition, for some patients, Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads its lethal tentacles to multiple organs including the brain, heart, circulatory system, liver, pancreas, and kidneys, as well as the lungs.

Introduction of Viruses

  • Coxsackieviruses
  • The coxsackievirus is part of a group of viruses called enteroviruses. Infections from coxsackieviruses may cause multisystem organ impairment. Most coxsackievirus infections aren't serious. More than 90% of coxsackieviruses infections are asymptomatic or cause nonspecific febrile illnesses. Coxsackieviruses are separable into two groups, A (CVA) and B (CVB). Infection is associated with a wide range of symptoms, which are dependent on the exact serotype. CVA results in muscle injury, paralysis, and death, while CVB results in organ damage but less severe outcomes. Coxsackieviruses can cause symptoms that affect different body parts, including:

    • Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)
    • Herpangina
    • Hemorrhagic conjunctivitis
    • Viral meningitis
    • Encephalitis
    • Myocarditis
  • Echoviruses
  • The echoviruses and coxsackieviruses are members of the Enterovirus genus. Echoviruses are a group of viruses that can lead to infections in different parts of the body and skin rashes. Echovirus infections are generally initiated in the gastrointestinal tract. Following an incubation period ranging from 2 to 7 days, the infection may turn systemic as viruses infect and replicate within peripheral and distal body tissues. While there is clear evidence that echovirus infection can result in several significant types of disease, this is still considered rare. Myocarditis is the most frequent complication in adults. When newborn babies are exposed to echovirus 11, it can cause a variety of illnesses including:

    • Sepsis
    • Meningoencephalitis
    • Encephalitis
    • Myocarditis
    • Hepatitis
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a member of the herpes family. Human CMV infection can present with a large variety of symptoms depending on the host which is infected. Most people don't know they have CMV because it rarely causes problems in healthy people. Some experience minor symptoms. In immunocompromised patients, CMV is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Disease often results from reactivation of latent virus. The lungs, gastrointestinal tract, or central nervous system (CNS) may be involved. Illnesses and symptoms of CMV can include (but are not limited to)

    • Retinitis
    • Esophagitis
    • Colitis
    • Diseases of the CNS include dementia, ventriculoencephalitis, and polyradiculomyelopathies.
    • Pneumonia

Tropism and associated symptoms of human enterovirus infections. Fig.1 Tropism and associated symptoms of human enterovirus infections. (Filipe, 2021)

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  1. Filipe, I.C.; et al. Enterovirus D: a small but versatile species. Microorganisms, 2021, 9(8): 1758.

All products and services are intended for Research Use Only, and NOT to be used in diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

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