Viral Agents in Diarrhea

  • Herbert L. DuPont
  • Larry K. Pickering
Part of the Current Topics in Infectious Disease book series (CTID)


Until the early 1970s, little evidence existed to strongly implicate viruses as important causes of human diarrhea. Earlier, there had been an occasional statistical association of enterovirus and adenovirus recovery from infants with diarrhea when compared to recovery rates of well children. In a small number of sporadic cases of illness, these viruses were shown to cause diarrhea, in view of virus isolation and documentation of a specific antibody rise during convalescence. Echovirus occasionally produced laboratory infection in adults1,2 and epidemic diarrhea in newborn nurseries.3 Adenoviruses were felt to play a role in wintertime diarrheal illness, where they were isolated from children with diarrhea and respiratory symptoms. Diarrhea was a known complication of measles and chicken pox in malnourished children4,5 and inflammatory changes in the intestinal mucosa of such children were reported.6,7 Acute diarrhea associated with childhood exanthems is not a common problem in the United States, probably reflecting the importance of malnutrition in the evolution of intestinal complications.


Acute Gastroenteritis Viral Agent Viruslike Particle Immune Electron Microscopy Gnotobiotic Piglet 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert L. DuPont
    • 1
  • Larry K. Pickering
    • 2
  1. 1.Program in Infectious Diseases and Clinical MicrobiologyThe University of Texas Health Science Center Medical SchoolHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Pediatric Infectious Diseases Program in Infectious Diseases and Clinical MicrobiologyThe University of Texas Health Science Center Medical SchoolHoustonUSA

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