The investigation of the possible relationship between Coxsackie viruses and pemphigus


  • Conflict of interest: None.



Pemphigus is a group of autoimmune bullous diseases on which the etiopathogenesis of several viruses has been blamed. Coxsackie viruses (CVs) are the causative agents of hand, foot, and mouth disease, and herpangina, which have been strongly associated with several autoimmune diseases. The onset of pemphigus after CV infection and cephalosporin use has been reported.


To detect the presence of CV in patients with pemphigus.

Materials and methods

Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis for CV RNA sequences and immunohistochemical staining for the CV and adenovirus receptor expression were performed on patient skin samples. CV-IgM and -IgG serum levels were analyzed.


Thirty-two patients and 40 controls were investigated. Neither the CV and adenovirus receptor expression nor CV RNA sequences was established in the skin samples of patients. The ratio of CV-IgG positivity was higher in patients (12.5%) than in the controls (5%; P > 0.05).


Our preliminary results indicate that the viral genome of CV does not become persistent in the skin. Further studies with a larger number of cases are needed to clarify the place of CVs in the etiopathogenesis of pemphigus.