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Arch Virol Suppl. 1996;12:251-62.

Genetic and antigenic diversity of human caliciviruses (HuCVs) using RT-PCR and new EIAs.

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  • 1Center for Pediatric Research, Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, USA.


RT-PCR using primers from conserved regions of calicivirus genomes, followed by sequencing, permits characterization of genetic variation within the family. EIAs based on baculovirus-expressed viral capsid proteins and hyperimmune antisera against the capsid proteins were developed to detect HuCV antigens and antibodies. Serologic surveys using recombinant Norwalk virus (rNV) and recombinant Mexico virus (rMX, a SMA-like virus) EIAs showed that infections by HuCVs are common and that children acquire antibodies to HuCVs at an early age in both developed and developing countries. Three HuCV genogroups have been described that are represented by Norwalk virus (NV), Snow Mountain agent (SMA), and Sapporo virus, although recently accumulated sequences of HuCV strains indicate these genogroups can be further divided. These genogroups also correspond to distinct antigenic groups based on the results of the recombinant EIAs. The three genogroups co-circulate and have a worldwide distribution, although the SMA genogroup seems to be predominant currently. Application of these new assays for further characterization of the genetic and antigenic properties of HuCVs remains an important task for HuCV research.

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