Pathogens. The genomic organization and replication system of the rhino-viruses (117 serotypes found to date) generally match those of the enteroviruses, although they differ in that they are acid-sensitive and slightly denser.
Pathogenicity and clinical picture. The rhinoviruses, the causative pathogens of the common cold, infect the mucosa of the nasopharyngeal space (nose and throat). They remain strictly localized there and do not cause generalized infections. In rare cases, mainly in children, they are known to cause bronchitis or bronchopneumonia as well. The clinical picture is often worsened by bacterial superinfection.
Diagnosis. Laboratory diagnostics are only required in special cases of rhino-virus infection. The viruses can be grown in cell cultures.
Epidemiology and prevention. Rhinoviruses are transmitted directly, for example by contaminated hands, and partly by droplet infection as well. Infective contacts between humans appear to involve mechanical inoculation (introduction into the nasopharyngeal space with fingers). Rhinoviruses occur worldwide, with pronounced proliferation in the winter months. The fact that everyone comes down with colds repeatedly is explained by the very brief immunity conferred by infection and the many different viral types involved. Experiments have shown that the infections are always exogenous, i.e., not reactivations due to cold, wetness, etc. The only conceivable prophylactic measure is to avoid large groups of people.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.