Human rhinoviruses are the most common viral ineffective agents in humans and are the cause of the common cold. The infection proliferates between 33-35 Â°C causing most reproduction to occur in the nose. It is a species in the genus Enterovirus of the Picornaviridae family of viruses. There are 99 recognized types of Human Rhinoviruses that are differentiated by their surface proteins. They are amongst the smallest viruses and lytic in nature. They travel via aerosols of respiratory droplets and from contaminated surfaces.
Rhinoviruses occur worldwide and are the primary cause of common colds. They produce symptoms that include sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, and sometimes muscle aches, fatigue, malaise, headache, and loss of appetite. Children can develop from six to twelve colds a year and in the US infections happen more often in autumn and winter months.
It mainly enters the body through the upper respiratory tract. As the infection spreads infected cells release chemokines and cytokines which activate inflammatory mediators. Infection will occur quickly even up to 15 minutes of entering the respiratory tract.
Inteferon-alpha is used intranasally and has been shown to be effective against human rhinovirus infections. Although it does have some side effects and this caused research to be abandoned.
Pleconaril is an oral antiviral drug under development that caused a significant decrease in mucus secretions and symptoms associated with illness. It is not available yet for treatment of Human rhinoviral infections since its effectiveness is still under evaluation.
Human rhinoviruses have been recently associated with the majority of asthma exacerbations for which current therapy is inadequate.
Despite a lot of research there are no vaccines to protect against these viruses. There are at least 99 serotypes of Human rhinoviruses although it is believed to be a conservative number.