Acute Enteric Viral Infections

Acute enteric viral infections include infections caused by for example: norovirus, rotavirus, calicivirus, astrovirus and adenovirus.

Diarrhea is a common cause of death in developing countries and the second most common cause of death in infants worldwide. In industrialized countries, diarrheal diseases are a significant cause of morbidity among all age groups. Though typically self-limited, infectious diarrhea results in millions of physician visits annually. In industrialized countries, most gastroenteritis cases are caused by viruses, such as rota-, calici-, astro-, and adenoviruses.

Although noro-and rotavirus infections are major causes of acute enteric viral infections, causing massive disease burden and mortality in both the developed and developing world, it is expected that many of the causal agents of acute enteric viral infections still need to be identified.

We aim to identify these viruses in diagnostic samples negative in all routine diagnostic assays that have been and will be collected from human cohorts in Rotterdam, Bilthoven, Amsterdam, and international collaborating institutions.

Viral discovery programs in the past have almost exclusively relied on classical virological techniques. The advent of novel molecular virus discovery and characterization techniques used in this project will allow the identification of new acute enteric viral infections  agents, their clinical impact, and elucidate the associated burden of acute enteric viral infections.