Logo of jcmPermissionsJournals.ASM.orgJournalJCM ArticleJournal InfoAuthorsReviewers
J Clin Microbiol. Apr 1993; 31(4): 955–962.
PMCID: PMC263593

Characterization and seroepidemiology of a type 5 astrovirus associated with an outbreak of gastroenteritis in Marin County, California.


The Marin County strain of type 5 astrovirus was associated with two separate outbreaks of nonbacterial gastroenteritis in California in 1978. A safety-tested, bacterium-free filtrate prepared from a stool specimen of an individual who was ill during the original outbreak was given orally to 19 adult volunteers. One volunteer developed a gastrointestinal illness, and nine had serologic responses. Several diarrheal stool specimens from the ill volunteer contained a large number of 27-nm particles. By using immune electron microscopy with acute- and convalescent-phase sera from the original outbreak, these 27-nm particles were shown to be identical to the viral inoculum. The Marin County virus, purified from the stool of the ill volunteer, was shown by immunoprecipitation and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to contain a single structural protein with a molecular weight of 30,000. The buoyant density of the virion was 1.39 g/cm3 in cesium chloride. By electron microscopy, approximately 5% of the particles had the characteristic stellate configuration of astrovirus, and serologic studies by immunofluorescence technique confirmed previous classification of the Marin County virus as a type 5 astrovirus. Radioimmunoassay and biotin-avidin immunoassay were used to detect antibody to the Marin County virus in paired acute- and convalescent-phase sera from 32 outbreaks of nonbacterial gastroenteritis, but none of these outbreaks could be attributed to this virus. Prevalence of antibody to this strain of astrovirus was approximately 13% in children 6 months to 3 years of age and increased to 41% in older children and young adults.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.8M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Appleton H, Buckley M, Thom BT, Cotton JL, Henderson S. Virus-like particles in winter vomiting disease. Lancet. 1977 Feb 19;1(8008):409–411. [PubMed]
  • Ashley CR, Caul EO, Paver WK. Astrovirus-associated gastroenteritis in children. J Clin Pathol. 1978 Oct;31(10):939–943. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Brandt CD, Kim HW, Rodriguez WJ, Arrobio JO, Jeffries BC, Stallings EP, Lewis C, Miles AJ, Chanock RM, Kapikian AZ, et al. Pediatric viral gastroenteritis during eight years of study. J Clin Microbiol. 1983 Jul;18(1):71–78. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Brondum J, Spitalny KC, Vogt RL, Godlewski K, Madore HP, Dolin R. Snow Mountain agent associated with an outbreak of gastroenteritis in Vermont. J Infect Dis. 1985 Oct;152(4):834–837. [PubMed]
  • Cruz JR, Bartlett AV, Herrmann JE, Cáceres P, Blacklow NR, Cano F. Astrovirus-associated diarrhea among Guatemalan ambulatory rural children. J Clin Microbiol. 1992 May;30(5):1140–1144. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dolin R, Levy AG, Wyatt RG, Thornhill TS, Gardner JD. Viral gastroenteritis induced by the Hawaii agent. Jejunal histopathology and serologic response. Am J Med. 1975 Dec;59(6):761–768. [PubMed]
  • Dolin R, Treanor JJ, Madore HP. Novel agents of viral enteritis in humans. J Infect Dis. 1987 Mar;155(3):365–376. [PubMed]
  • Gary GW, Jr, Kaplan JE, Stine SE, Anderson LJ. Detection of Norwalk virus antibodies and antigen with a biotin-avidin immunoassay. J Clin Microbiol. 1985 Aug;22(2):274–278. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Gordon SM, Oshiro LS, Jarvis WR, Donenfeld D, Ho MS, Taylor F, Greenberg HB, Glass R, Madore HP, Dolin R, et al. Foodborne Snow Mountain agent gastroenteritis with secondary person-to-person spread in a retirement community. Am J Epidemiol. 1990 Apr;131(4):702–710. [PubMed]
  • Gray JJ, Wreghitt TG, Cubitt WD, Elliot PR. An outbreak of gastroenteritis in a home for the elderly associated with astrovirus type 1 and human calicivirus. J Med Virol. 1987 Dec;23(4):377–381. [PubMed]
  • Greenberg HB, Valdesuso J, Yolken RH, Gangarosa E, Gary W, Wyatt RG, Konno T, Suzuki H, Chanock RM, Kapikian AZ. Role of Norwalk virus in outbreaks of nonbacterial gastroenteritis. J Infect Dis. 1979 May;139(5):564–568. [PubMed]
  • Greenberg HB, Valdesuso JR, Kalica AR, Wyatt RG, McAuliffe VJ, Kapikian AZ, Chanock RM. Proteins of Norwalk virus. J Virol. 1981 Mar;37(3):994–999. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Greenberg HB, Wyatt RG, Valdesuso J, Kalica AR, London WT, Chanock RM, Kapikian AZ. Solid-phase microtiter radioimmunoassay for detection of the Norwalk strain of acute nonbacterial, epidemic gastroenteritis virus and its antibodies. J Med Virol. 1978;2(2):97–108. [PubMed]
  • Guest C, Spitalny KC, Madore HP, Pray K, Dolin R, Herrmann JE, Blacklow NR. Foodborne Snow Mountain agent gastroenteritis in a school cafeteria. Pediatrics. 1987 Apr;79(4):559–563. [PubMed]
  • Heggeness MH, Ash JF. Use of the avidin-biotin complex for the localization of actin and myosin with fluorescence microscopy. J Cell Biol. 1977 Jun;73(3):783–788. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Herring AJ, Gray EW, Snodgrass DR. Purification and characterization of ovine astrovirus. J Gen Virol. 1981 Mar;53(Pt 1):47–55. [PubMed]
  • Herrmann JE, Cubitt WD, Hudson RW, Perron-Henry DM, Oshiro LS, Blacklow NR. Immunological characterization of the Marin County strain of astrovirus. Arch Virol. 1990;110(3-4):213–220. [PubMed]
  • Herrmann JE, Hudson RW, Blacklow NR. Marin County agent, an astrovirus. Lancet. 1987 Sep 26;2(8561):743–743. [PubMed]
  • Herrmann JE, Hudson RW, Perron-Henry DM, Kurtz JB, Blacklow NR. Antigenic characterization of cell-cultivated astrovirus serotypes and development of astrovirus-specific monoclonal antibodies. J Infect Dis. 1988 Jul;158(1):182–185. [PubMed]
  • Herrmann JE, Taylor DN, Echeverria P, Blacklow NR. Astroviruses as a cause of gastroenteritis in children. N Engl J Med. 1991 Jun 20;324(25):1757–1760. [PubMed]
  • Smith R, Fuller DJ, Wedge JH, Williamson DH, Alberti KG. Initial effect of injury on ketone bodies and other blood metabolites. Lancet. 1975 Jan 4;1(7897):1–3. [PubMed]
  • Kapikian AZ, Greenberg HB, Cline WL, Kalica AR, Wyatt RG, James HD, Jr, Lloyd NL, Chanock RM, Ryder RW, Kim HW. Prevalence of antibody to the Norwalk agent by a newly developed immune adherence hemagglutination assay. J Med Virol. 1978;2(4):281–294. [PubMed]
  • Kapikian AZ, Wyatt RG, Dolin R, Thornhill TS, Kalica AR, Chanock RM. Visualization by immune electron microscopy of a 27-nm particle associated with acute infectious nonbacterial gastroenteritis. J Virol. 1972 Nov;10(5):1075–1081. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kaplan JE, Gary GW, Baron RC, Singh N, Schonberger LB, Feldman R, Greenberg HB. Epidemiology of Norwalk gastroenteritis and the role of Norwalk virus in outbreaks of acute nonbacterial gastroenteritis. Ann Intern Med. 1982 Jun;96(6 Pt 1):756–761. [PubMed]
  • Kjeldsberg E. Small spherical viruses in faeces from gastroenteritis patients. Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand B. 1977 Oct;85B(5):351–354. [PubMed]
  • Konno T, Suzuki H, Ishida N, Chiba R, Mochizuki K, Tsunoda A. Astrovirus-associated epidemic gastroenteritis in Japan. J Med Virol. 1982;9(1):11–17. [PubMed]
  • Konno T, Suzuki H, Katsushima N, Imai A, Tazawa F, Kutsuzawa T, Kitaoka S, Sakamoto M, Yazaki N, Ishida N. Influence of temperature and relative humidity on human rotavirus infection in Japan. J Infect Dis. 1983 Jan;147(1):125–128. [PubMed]
  • Kurtz J, Lee T. Astrovirus gastroenteritis age distribution of antibody. Med Microbiol Immunol. 1978 Nov 17;166(1-4):227–230. [PubMed]
  • Kurtz JB, Lee TW. Human astrovirus serotypes. Lancet. 1984 Dec 15;2(8416):1405–1405. [PubMed]
  • Kurtz JB, Lee TW. Astroviruses: human and animal. Ciba Found Symp. 1987;128:92–107. [PubMed]
  • Kurtz JB, Lee TW, Craig JW, Reed SE. Astrovirus infection in volunteers. J Med Virol. 1979;3(3):221–230. [PubMed]
  • Kurtz JB, Lee TW, Pickering D. Astrovirus associated gastroenteritis in a children's ward. J Clin Pathol. 1977 Oct;30(10):948–952. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Laemmli UK. Cleavage of structural proteins during the assembly of the head of bacteriophage T4. Nature. 1970 Aug 15;227(5259):680–685. [PubMed]
  • Lee TW, Kurtz JB. Serial propagation of astrovirus in tissue culture with the aid of trypsin. J Gen Virol. 1981 Dec;57(Pt 2):421–424. [PubMed]
  • Lee TW, Kurtz JB. Human astrovirus serotypes. J Hyg (Lond) 1982 Dec;89(3):539–540. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lew JF, Moe CL, Monroe SS, Allen JR, Harrison BM, Forrester BD, Stine SE, Woods PA, Hierholzer JC, Herrmann JE, et al. Astrovirus and adenovirus associated with diarrhea in children in day care settings. J Infect Dis. 1991 Oct;164(4):673–678. [PubMed]
  • Madeley CR, Cosgrove BP. Letter: Viruses in infantile gastroenteritis. Lancet. 1975 Jul 19;2(7925):124–124. [PubMed]
  • Madore HP, Treanor JJ, Pray KA, Dolin R. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for Snow Mountain and Norwalk agents of viral gastroenteritis. J Clin Microbiol. 1986 Sep;24(3):456–459. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Monroe SS, Stine SE, Gorelkin L, Herrmann JE, Blacklow NR, Glass RI. Temporal synthesis of proteins and RNAs during human astrovirus infection of cultured cells. J Virol. 1991 Feb;65(2):641–648. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Morens DM, Zweighaft RM, Vernon TM, Gary GW, Eslien JJ, Wood BT, Holman RC, Dolin R. A waterborne outbreak of gastroenteritis with secondary person-to-person spread. Association with a viral agent. Lancet. 1979 May 5;1(8123):964–966. [PubMed]
  • Oishi I, Maeda A, Yamazaki K, Minekawa Y, Nishimura H, Kitaura T. Calicivirus detected in outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis in school children. Biken J. 1980 Dec;23(4):163–168. [PubMed]
  • Oshiro LS, Haley CE, Roberto RR, Riggs JL, Croughan M, Greenberg H, Kapikian A. A 27-nm virus isolated during an outbreak of acute infectious nonbacterial gastroenteritis in a convalescent hospital: a possible new serotype. J Infect Dis. 1981 Jun;143(6):791–795. [PubMed]
  • Purcell RH, Wong DC, Alter HJ, Holland PV. Microtiter solid-phase radioimmunoassay for hepatitis B antigen. Appl Microbiol. 1973 Oct;26(4):478–484. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shimizu M, Shirai J, Narita M, Yamane T. Cytopathic astrovirus isolated from porcine acute gastroenteritis in an established cell line derived from porcine embryonic kidney. J Clin Microbiol. 1990 Feb;28(2):201–206. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Suzuki H, Sato T, Kitaoka S, Tazawa F, Konno T, Amano Y, Alava Alprecht A, Gutiérrez Vera E, Lopez Villalta J, Numazaki Y, et al. Epidemiology of rotavirus in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1986 Mar;35(2):372–375. [PubMed]
  • Thornhill TS, Wyatt RG, Kalica AR, Dolin R, Chanock RM, Kapikian AZ. Detection by immune electron microscopy of 26- to 27-nm viruslike particles associated with two family outbreaks of gastroenteritis. J Infect Dis. 1977 Jan;135(1):20–27. [PubMed]
  • Wyatt RG, Dolin R, Blacklow NR, DuPont HL, Buscho RF, Thornhill TS, Kapikian AZ, Chanock RM. Comparison of three agents of acute infectious nonbacterial gastroenteritis by cross-challenge in volunteers. J Infect Dis. 1974 Jun;129(6):709–714. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Clinical Microbiology are provided here courtesy of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...