Persistent infection of human vascular endothelial cells by group B coxsackieviruses

Pier Giulio Conaldi, Caterina Serra, Angela Mossa, Valeria Falcone, Fulvio Basolo, Giovanni Camussi, Antonina Dolei, Antonio Toniolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Group B coxsackieviruses (CVBs) cause >20% of the cases of myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy. Information on the permissiveness of vascular cells to CVBs is scant. Interactions of CVBs with human vascular endothelial cells (ECs) were investigated in vitro. All 6 CVBs (CVB-1 to -6) consistently infected primary EC cultures and an immortalized EC line without producing cytopathology. Whereas replication of types 1, 2, 4, and 6 ceased within 30- 60 days after infection, CVB-3 and -5 caused a persistent infection. Replication of CVB-3 and -5 continued for >260 days. In ECs, the constitutive production of interferon-β, but not of other cytokines, appeared to confer resistance to CVBs. Persistence of CVB-3 and -5 was associated with the chronic release of tumor necrosis factor-α, a cytotoxic cytokine that also has a negative inotropic effect on myocardial cells. The results suggest that chronic endothelial CVB infections may play a role in vascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-696
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Immunology


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