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June 7, 1976

Coxsackievirus and Adenovirus Infection: Association With Acute Febrile and Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Infectious Disease, New York Veterans Administration Hospital, the Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine (Drs Rahal and Noriega), and the Virus Laboratory, and the New York City Department of Health (Dr Millian), New York.

JAMA. 1976;235(23):2496-2501. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260490014011

The prearthritic manifestations of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in a 16-year-old boy were associated with a rise in coxsackievirus B3 and A9 neutralizing antibody titers from 1:16 to ≥ 1:512, and 1:64 to 1:512, respectively. Recurrent polyarthritis followed and has persisted for three years. Adenovirus 7 was isolated from the pericardial fluid of a 9-year-old girl in whom juvenile rheumatoid arthritis then developed. Of 11 patients with acute, nonspecific, febrile arthritis subsequently studied, fourfold or greater antibody elevations occurred against coxsackieviruses in five, and against rubella and varicella-zoster virus in two. Antibody titers against other viral (and Mycoplasma) antigens remained stable. These findings suggest that coxsackieviruses, as well as other common viruses, may cause acute, nonspecific, febrile arthritis. In certain instances, such infection may be related to the development of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

(JAMA 235:2496-2501, 1976)