A rapid reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and microwell capture hybridisation assay with general specificity for enteroviruses was developed and compared with an improved nested RT-PCR for the detection of enteroviral RNA sequences in endomyocardial tissue from patients with chronic dilated cardiomyopathy. This method could detect as few as 20 genomic RNA copies per 100 mg of heart tissue homogenate and results could be obtained within 8 hours. Of the 55 biopsy specimens aseptically collected from the explanted hearts of 55 patients, 21 (38.2%) were positive by RT-PCR microplate assay, whereas only 19 (34.5%) were positive by nested RT-PCR assay and none were positive by classical cell culture assays. No enterovirus was detectable by RT-PCR or classical cell culture assays in any of the 55 heart biopsy specimens taken from organ donors without any known heart disease. Moreover, the nucleotide sequences of EV nested RT-PCR products showed greatest similarity to group B Coxsackieviruses [CVB3 (n = 12) or CVB5 (n = 3)], but also to group A Coxsackieviruses (CVA21 (n = 1) or CVA9 (n = 3)]. The described RT-PCR and microwell capture hybridisation assay can be applied to the virological diagnosis of human enteroviral cardiac infections. Moreover our findings suggest that group B and group A Coxsackieviruses can persist in heart tissue from patients with endstage chronic cardiomyopathy, supporting the hypothesis that these viruses could be implicated in the etiology of idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy.
- Chronic enteroviral infection
- Coxsackievirus B
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Rapid molecular diagnosis
- Sequence analysis of enteroviral amplified products
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases