Chapter 4 : Gastrointestinal Syndromes

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Gastroenteritis is one of the most common illnesses affecting infants, children, and adults and accounts for more than 2.5 million deaths annually in children under 5 years of age worldwide. This chapter concentrates on gastroenteritis and diarrhea caused specifically by viruses. The viral agents that are proven causes of gastroenteritis fall into four distinct families--rotaviruses (), human caliciviruses (), enteric adenoviruses (), and astroviruses (). All of these viruses cause clinical syndromes of diarrhea and vomiting that are generally similar, extraintestinal manifestations of disease are rare, and other disease syndromes associated with these viruses in humans have not been well documented. Some groups of people are at particularly high risk for disease with these agents by virtue of their age (the young and the old), their extent of exposure, or their host susceptibility, and hence special precautions for these groups are needed. The primary treatment of all these diseases is replacement of fluids and electrolytes. Prevention of the main childhood disease, rotavirus-induced diarrhea, rests with the recently introduced vaccines. Prevention of viral gastroenteritis epidemics will rest with the identification of the vehicle of infection, interruption of the mode of transmission, and the potential development of vaccines.

Citation: Patel M, Glass R. 2009. Gastrointestinal Syndromes, p 45-57. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815981.ch4

Key Concept Ranking

Clinical and Public Health
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Traveler's Diarrhea
Viral Gastroenteritis
Gastrointestinal Bleeding
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Image of FIGURE 1

Electron micrographs showing agents of viral gastroenteritis. (A) Rotavirus; (B) astrovirus; (C) adenovirus; (D and E) Norwalk-like viruses of the family

Citation: Patel M, Glass R. 2009. Gastrointestinal Syndromes, p 45-57. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815981.ch4
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Historical advances in the identification of viral agents of gastroenteritis

Citation: Patel M, Glass R. 2009. Gastrointestinal Syndromes, p 45-57. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815981.ch4
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Microbiological and epidemiological characteristics of viral agents that cause gastroenteritis

Citation: Patel M, Glass R. 2009. Gastrointestinal Syndromes, p 45-57. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815981.ch4
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Contrasting epidemiological patterns of viral gastroenteritis

Citation: Patel M, Glass R. 2009. Gastrointestinal Syndromes, p 45-57. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815981.ch4
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Groups at high risk for viral gastroenteritis

Citation: Patel M, Glass R. 2009. Gastrointestinal Syndromes, p 45-57. In Richman D, Whitley R, Hayden F (ed), Clinical Virology, Third Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815981.ch4

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