Historical background and classification of caliciviruses and astroviruses
Infections caused by caliciviruses, i.e., vesicular exanthema virus of swine were recognised as a major cause of economic loss in the 1930s. However, it was not until the application of electronmicroscopy in the 1970s that caliciviruses and astroviruses were recognised and proven to be a cause of diarrhoea and vomiting. The following review briefly describes the steps which have led to the development of diagnostic tests and enabled the characterization of several members of the Caliciviridae and Astroviridae. In the past five years this has culminated in the sequencing of their genomes and the expression of viral proteins. This in turn has led to the development of improved diagnostic tests e.g., RT-PCR and enzyme immunoassays, and may pave the way towards producing effective vaccines in the future.
KeywordsNorwalk Virus Immune Electron Microscopy Enzyme Immune Assay Mink Enteritis Virus Human Caliciviruses
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