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J Clin Virol. 2002 Apr;24(3):137-60.

Human caliciviruses in Europe.

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Gastrointestinal Diseases Division, PHLS Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, 61 Colindale Avenue, Colindale, London NW9 5EQ, UK.


Caliciviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses, which are divided into four genera based on their morphology and genomic structure. Viruses from two genera, the Norwalk like viruses and Sapporo like viruses, are a common cause of acute, nonbacterial gastroenteritis in humans. Although the first human calicivirus discovered nearly 30 years ago, much of the epidemiological and biological character of these viruses is only now beginning to unfold. Investigation has been difficult due to a number of factors, the viruses cannot be amplified by in vitro cell culture or animal models and electron microscopy (EM) is often not sensitive enough to detect the viruses in stool samples. Recent advances in molecular diagnostic techniques and the advent of a baculovirus expression system have highlighted the clinical and public health importance of calicivirus in all age groups, their ability to cause infection via a number of transmission routes as well as their considerable genetic diversity. These characteristics, in conjunction with the inability of humans to develop long-term immunity make HuCV an important public health issue in Europe and worldwide.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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