Evidence indicating possible involvement of Coxsackie B viruses in valvulitis and congenital heart disease has been reported.
Investigators at Tulane University have succeeded in producing valvular lesions in mice inoculated intraperitoneally with Coxsackie B4. And at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, a prospective study correlating heart defects in infants with a history of viral infection during pregnancy of the mothers indicates a possibly significant increase in defective children born to mothers infected with Coxsackie B1 or B4.
"Although to date the numbers are small, these results are highly suggestive of Coxsackie virus teratogenicity of congenital heart disease and provide the rationale for continued investigation," Gordon C. Brown, ScD, professor of epidemiology, told the Scientific Session of the American Heart Association, Bal Harbour, Fla.
Dr. Brown's study, now in its sixth year, centers upon the possible teratogenic effects of infection in the mother of Coxsackie, ECHO, and influenza,