In humans, infections with the group B coxsackieviruses (CVBs) range from asymptomatic infections to chronic, debilitating diseases. The CVBs are associated with chronic inflammatory diseases of the pancreas, heart, and central nervous system. A major focus in CVB pathogenesis is to understand the mechanisms by which these viruses cause acute diseases that resolve or acute diseases that progress to chronic diseases. The present review explores CVB infections in the development of acute and chronic pancreatitis. Mouse models of CVB-induced pancreatitis share many features with the human diseases and are providing insight into the multi-faceted processes of pancreatic tissue repair and irreversible tissue destruction. The development and progression of CVB-induced pancreatic inflammatory disease is an extremely complex process, involving both viral and host factors. The review examines the roles of the virus and host in contributing to the disease process. Recent studies of global gene expression during CVB-induced pancreatitis have increased our understanding of host factors that influence the outcome of infection and have highlighted interrelationships among complex biological programs. As we unravel the complexity of the disease process, the information gained will lead to the design of therapeutics that not only prevent the progression of chronic inflammatory disease, but that also restore functionality of affected tissues and organs.