Enteroviruses (EVs) and adenoviruses (AdVs) are two important etiological agents of viral myocarditis and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Both these viruses share a common receptor, the coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR), for their infection. However, the role of viral load and CAR expression in disease severity has not yet been completely elucidated. The present study aimed to determine viral load of EV and AdV in DCM patients and correlate them with the level of CAR expression in these patients. Sixty-three DCM cases and 30 controls, each of whom died of heart disease other than DCM and non-cardiac disease respectively, were included. Viral load was determined by TaqMan real-time PCR using primers and probes specific for the AdV hexon gene and the 5′UTR region of EV. The CAR mRNA level was semi-quantitated by RT-PCR, and antigen expression was studied by immunohistochemistry. A significantly high AdV load ( p < 0.05) and CAR expression ( p < 0.05) were observed in DCM cases versus controls, whereas the EV load showed no significant difference. The data suggests a clinical threshold of 128 AdV copies/500 ng of DNA for DCM, with 66.7 % sensitivity and 65 % specificity. A positive correlation between AdV load and CAR expression ( p < 0.001) was also observed in DCM cases. The high adenoviral load and increased CAR expression in DCM and their association with adverse disease outcome indicates role of both virus and receptor in disease pathogenesis. Thus, the need for targeting both the virus and the receptor for treatment of viral myocarditis and early DCM requires further confirmation with larger studies.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2016
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