WHAT IS COXSACKIE A OR B VIRUS TITER TEST?
The coxsackievirus is divided into two antigenically different groups, A and B, and is of the enterovirus family. Enteroviruses are easily transmitted by the faecal-oral route and are associated with epidemics, especially in newborn nurseries. Although blood is rarely used for isolation of viruses, serologic testing may be performed to detect Coxsackie A virus or Coxsackie B virus antibodies. Twenty-three species of Coxsackie A exist. Types 1, 4, 9, 16, and 23 may infect the heart, causing pericarditis progressing to heart failure. Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral infection caused by Coxsackie A virus, usually occurring in ages 10 years and younger. Coxsackie type A is also associated with a severe form of conjunctivitis and with respiratory disease. Six species of Coxsackie B exist. Types 1 to 5 may infect the heart, causing pericarditis progressing to heart failure. These same types may cause pleurodynia, a disease of limited duration (1 week) in which the client experiences the acute onset of the chest or abdominal pain along with fever and headache. Types 2 to 5 cause most cases of viral meningitis. This test involves measuring the antibody levels in both an acute and a convalescent sample of blood to detect an increase in the titer. It is a neutralisation test in which diluted samples (1 : 2, 1 : 8, 1 : 32, 1 : 128, 1 : 512) are mixed with Coxsackie A virus or Coxsackie B virus, inoculated onto a cell culture system, and observed for antigen-antibody reactions for up to 7 days. Enterovirus antibodies respond very quickly to infection; thus, the earlier the acute sample is collected, the better the chance of detecting a positive test.