Enteric Viruses

  • C. Anthony Hart
  • Nigel A. Cunliffe


Viruses interact with the gastro-intestinal tract in a number of ways. Some viruses such as hepatitis A virus and the enteroviruses use the intestine as a portal of entry and rarely, if ever, produce diarrhoeal disease. Others cause diarrhoeal disease only when the immune system is compromised, for example, HIV and cytomegalovirus (HHV-5). Human papillomaviruses and Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus (HHV-8) can affect the gastro-intestinal tract causing local tumours. On stool electron microscopy, bacteriophages can be seen (Fig. 1) which can be mistaken for other viruses. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria and are involved only indirectly in human disease, for example, acting as vectors for toxin genes (e.g. shiga toxins 1 and 2 in Escherichia coli 0157). However, here we will concentrate on the virology and laboratory diagnosis of the enteric viruses that are primary pathogens causing diarrhoeal disease (Table 1). The relative importance of viruses and the various enteric viruses depends upon the patient’s age and their state of immunity. Undoubtedly, viruses are the most important causes of diarrhoeal disease in infants and young children whether HIV-infected or not [1].


Enteric Virus Bovine Diarrhoea Virus Diarrhoeal Disease Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus Norwalk Virus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Anthony Hart
  • Nigel A. Cunliffe

There are no affiliations available

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