Viral zoonoses and food of animal origin: caliciviruses and human disease

  • I. N. Clarke
  • P. R. Lambden


Caliciviruses are important veterinary and human pathogens. The viruses gain their name from characteristic cup-shaped structures seen on the virion surface by negative stain electron microscopy. In humans caliciviruses are a major cause of diarrhoeal disease. There are two fundamentally different genome structures amongst human caliciviruses. The Norwalk-like or small round structured viruses (SRSVs) are viruses that have an amorphous structure when viewed by EM, they have a genome composed of 3 major open reading frames (ORFs). These viruses cause epidemic gastroenteritis amongst all age groups. In contrast, the ‘classic’ human caliciviruses (HuCVs) display the typical calicivirus surface structure and have their capsid ORF fused to and contiguous with the non structural proteins forming one giant polyprotein. HuCVs are predominantly associated with paediatric infections and are only a minor cause of disease in humans. Spread of disease for both SRSVs and HuCVs is usually by faecal oral transmission. SRSVs are a major cause of foodborne gastroenteritis especially linked to the consumption of sewage-contaminated shellfish. However, there is no evidence that these viruses replicate in shellfish or that they originate from an animal source.


European Rabbit Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus Norwalk Virus Feline Calicivirus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. N. Clarke
    • 1
  • P. R. Lambden
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular Microbiology GroupUniversity Medical School, Southampton General HospitalSouthamptonUK

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