Among notable examples of the rapid advances in the medical sciences, delineation of the role of enteroviruses in human disease in recent years provides a case in point. The term "enterovirus" was advanced in 19571 to embrace the poliomyelitis, Coxsackie, and ECHO groups of viruses, all of which infect the human intestinal tract, are recoverable from the feces during the course of infection, and are similar with respect to size and to certain physical properties.
As recently as 1947, poliovirus was the only known member of this family, and the existence of 3 immunologic types of polioviruses was still being established. In 1948, Dalldorf and Sickles2 reported isolation of the first strains of Coxsackie viruses, detected in the feces of children with clinical poliomyelitis by the inoculation of newborn mice. In 1949, Enders, Weller, and Robbins3 described the successful cultivation of poliovirus, using in vitro cultures of