The rotaviruses are important medical and veterinary pathogens that cause acute diarrheal disease in children and in the young of most mammalian and avian species. The successful development of a rotavirus vaccine should significantly reduce worldwide infant morbidity and mortality and economic losses and increase food-production. Recent successes in the cultivation and characterization of rotavirus strains from humans and animals have led to a better understanding of the major antigens of these viruses and the genes encoding these antigens. The products of three independent genes (1) the neutralization antigen (the outer capsid glycoprotein); (2) the subgroup antigen (the major inner capsid protein); and (3) the hemagglutinin (the outer capsid protease-sensitive protein) are the major viral antigens. The properties and structure of these antigens are discussed. Further knowledge should facilitate the synthesis and development of novel antigen or subunit vaccines.
KeywordsImmune Electron Microscopy Monospecific Antiserum Acute Diarrheal Disease Neutralization Antigen Immune Electron Microscopy Study
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