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- Single-strand, non-enveloped positive sense RNA virus; member of the Picornaviridae family of viruses.
- Over 105 serologic virus types. Human rhinovirus responsible for up to 0-80% of common colds.
- Species include RV-A (adults > children), RV-B (least common) and RV-C (new species, often more severe or disseminated in children)
- Rhinoviruses gain entry via the upper respiratory tract binding to ICAM-1 (intracellular adhesion molecule -1) receptors on epithelial cells lining the respiratory tract. Chemokines and cytokines cause inflammation as a consequence of viral infection causing local symptoms.
- Involvement of cell receptor believed to account for part of host effect and and pathogenesis.