Some diseases often go hand in hand because of the way they affect the body. When this occurs in a patient, it is referred to as a co-infection. Co-infections occur when two or more pathogens get into a cell and cause infection.
In the case of Lyme disease, many other infections can occur when one becomes infected with the Borrelia bacteria (the bacteria that causes Lyme). This is because diseased ticks are often infected with more than just one type of bacteria at a time. For example, if a person becomes infected from a tick that has Borrelia as well as anaplasmosis, the severity of Lyme disease can worsen and it can lead to a more difficult positive diagnosis.
But when it comes to the Coxsackie virus, is it a Lyme disease co-infection? Let’s take a look at what Coxsackie virus is, and if it relates to Lyme disease.
There are many different types of viruses circling the globe at any given time. A virus is categorized as a microscopic parasite that, when it attaches to or gets into a host, can wreak havoc on the host’s body and cause ailments ranging from mild to severe, and sometimes even death.
Viruses are broken up into groups using the Baltimore classification method, which categorizes the them depending on their morphology, genetics, and how the mRNA is made during replication. The Coxsackie virus is classified into a group of viruses called the enterovirus. So what is Coxsackie virus, exactly? And what are the symptoms of Coxsackie virus?
Of the many viruses found in humans, some have mild to moderate symptoms
that go away on their own over time, while others require serious treatment to
help rid the body of pathogens and get patients back to their optimal level of
Some viruses, including the coxsackie virus, can fall into both
categories – one version of the illness can require treatment, while the other
can often go away on its own. The virus itself is generally found in children
under the age of 10, but it has been known to infect younger adults as well.
What is coxsackie virus?
The coxsackie viruses are RNA viruses. Often called enteroviruses, they
are made up of only one strand of RNA (ribonucleic acid). The viruses that are
part of the coxsackie family can lead to hand, foot, and mouth disease, as well
as other conditions that affect the lungs, heart, and muscles.
There are two very distinct types of coxsackie virus: type A and type B.
Type A is the coxsackie virus that leads to hand, foot, and mouth disease. In
the majority of cases, a Type A coxsackie virus clears up on its own in a
matter of days to weeks, but the virus itself can be shed for weeks following
the initial infection. A Type B coxsackie virus can lead to epidemic
pleurodynia (a febrile disorder) and often resolves itself within 2–12 days of
initial infection. Both types of coxsackie virus are highly contagious and can
be shed through fecal matter even after the virus has cleared up in the
What are the symptoms of coxsackie virus?
The virus was first recorded in the mid-1900s by scientist Gilbert
Dalldorf when he was trying to discover a cure for another ailment. This led to
the discovery that coxsackie was able to mimic mild cases of polio. Following this,
Dalldorf learned that coxsackie viruses could cause a variety of different
The symptoms of coxsackie virus vary depending on the type and typically
appear within three to six days of the initial infection. In those with Type A
coxsackie, symptoms include sores in the throat, otherwise known as herpangina.
It can also lead to sores and lesions in the mouth, on the palms of the hands,
and on the soles of the feet. Type B symptoms include fever, headache, and abdominal
and chest spasms, although a fever is usually the first symptom to appear. In
both types A and B, more serious complications can arise in those who have a
subtype of the virus. These conditions include meningitis, myocarditis, and
pericarditis, but it is rare for these to develop.
How do you test for coxsackie virus?
Generally speaking, diagnosis of coxsackie virus occurs by a physical
exam performed by a doctor when a blister-like rash is present on the hands,
feet, and mouth. This method of diagnosis saves money on tests in the long run
because doctors believe that if the rashes are present, then the ailment is
easy to spot. There are, however, viral tests that can be done if the infection
cannot be confirmed through physical exam alone.
To get a definitive diagnosis for coxsackie virus, rectal swabs or stool
samples will be taken and isolated in a cell culture. This is to ensure the
virus is present in a patient who may not be exhibiting typical symptoms.
Doctors will also check for specific antibodies in patients who may have
recovered from the illness prior to testing. In those who develop serious
complications, testing for bacterial meningitis is crucial so that the
appropriate treatment can be administered.
A new ELISpot test being developed by Infectolab is changing the way
coxsackie virus can be diagnosed. The test takes into account T-cell production
to help doctors get a more definitive picture of whether the infection is
present in the body. The new test will help to eliminate any holes in testing,
which in turn will lead to more accurate diagnosis of the virus in patients.
How do you treat coxsackie virus?
Treatment for coxsackie virus is tricky because there is no specific
medication designed to combat it. Because it is a viral infection, antibiotics cannot
be used during a treatment course as they will have no effect on the virus
It is usually recommended that parents of children with coxsackie virus (as
well as young adults who become infected) focus on treating the viral symptoms
such as fever, headache, sore throat, and rash. This can be done using
over-the-counter anti-inflammatories as well as medications designed to bring
temperature down. Because many cases of coxsackie virus are mild in nature, treatment
of any kind may not be required, and the infection should clear up on its own
within a couple of weeks.
In the case of serious complications, though, treatment may differ. If
the coxsackie infection leads to meningitis, for example, hospitalization may be
necessary, with treatment in the form of intravenous medications such as
antibiotics and sometimes corticosteroids.
Is coxsackie the same as “hand foot mouth”?
The name “hand, foot, and mouth disease” comes from the places lesions
appear on the body when someone is infected with the coxsackie virus. Hand,
foot, and mouth disease is caused by the presence of the coxsackie virus in the
As mentioned above, in children the disease presents as sores and
lesions in the mouth, throat, feet, and hands. Adults who contract the virus
may appear asymptomatic while infected. This can lead to undiagnosed cases, meaning
they can also pass it on without ever realizing they have contracted the