Adenovirus 14 Infection (Killer Cold Virus)

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

How do health care professionals diagnose an Adenovirus 14 infection?

Diagnosis begins with a complete medical history and physical exam, especially noting if the patient has been associated with any group of people that has similar symptoms (clinical evidence). Ad14 is one of several possible causative agents for an outbreak of respiratory problems in members of a group, like military recruits. To provide a definitive diagnosis of Ad14, blood, tissue, and/or exudates can be specifically cultured for the virus. Rising serum titers of antibodies toAd14, immunofluorescence tests for virus antigens in tissues, and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are also considered tests that provide a definitive diagnosis. However, in the vast majority of infected patients, such specific testing is not done and is not clinically necessary. It does not alter the management of the infected person. Electron microscopy shows the virus structure (Figure 1) but does not identify the strain. Supportive tests may include chest X-rays and blood tests and others that the health care professional deems appropriate.

Picture of colorized transmission electron micrograph of adenovirus
Figure 1: Picture of colorized transmission electron micrograph of adenovirus; SOURCE: CDC/Dr. G. William Gary, Jr.

For further information on Adenovirus structure, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8174/.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/10/2017

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