Chapter

Reoviruses II

Volume 233/2 of the series Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology pp 67-83

Pathogenesis of Reovirus Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Disease

  • E. L. OrganAffiliated withResearch Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical CenterDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • , D. H. RubinAffiliated withResearch Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical CenterDepartment of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

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Abstract

During the initial surveys in search of viral infectious agents carried out in the late 1940s to the 1960s reovirus was discovered to be a common infectious agent that was recovered from the feces of virtually all mammals (Rosen and Abinanti 1960; Hrdy et al. 1979). In humans, exposure to the mammalian reovirus occurs in childhood, with a high proportion of the population having serological evidence of infection by young adulthood (Lerner et al. 1947; Jackson et al. 1961; Leers and Royce 1966). However, a role of reovirus in the pathogenesis of symptomatic infection has not been substantiated in humans. Although reoviruses have not been conclusively implicated in any human disease, this viral system has served as a model to study the manner by which other more pathogenic viruses in humans may infect the gut and gain entry into a mammalian host. The ability to manipulate the viral genetic elements has enhanced our ability to define viral proteins associated with virus delivery, entry, and infection at the primary site of entry and has been an additional rationale to study reovirus infection.