Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Viral Gastroenteritis

  • Karel GeboesEmail author
Reference work entry


Stomach or gastric flu (although the condition is not related to the influenza virus)


Viral gastroenteritis is an infection caused by a variety of viruses. The most common viruses are rotavirus (so-called because of their wheel-like morphology on electron microscopic examination, belongs to the family of Reoviridae), adenoviruses (non-enveloped viruses composed of a nucleocapsid and a double-stranded linear DNA genome), noroviruses (a diverse group of single-stranded RNA viruses, belongs to the family of Caliciviridae, so-called because many strains have visible cup shaped depressions on electron microscopy), and picornaviruses (named because they are small and of RNA type). The infection results in inflammation. It involves both the stomach and the small intestine and sometimes the large intestine, resulting in a combination of nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, and abdominal pain which may be cramping. The disease may be associated with fever (rotavirus),...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Further Reading

  1. Braeckman, T., Van Herck, K., Meyer, N., Pirçon, J. Y., Soriano-Gabarro, M., Heylen, E., Zeller, M., Azou, M., Capiau, H., De Koster, J., Maernoudt, A. S., Raes, M., Verdonck, L., Verghote, M., Vergison, A., Matthijnssens, J., Van Ranst, M., & Van Damme, P. (2012). Effectiveness of rotavirus vaccination in prevention of hospital admissions for rotavirus gastroenteritis among young children in Belgium: Case–control study. BMJ, 345, e4752.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bresee, J. S., Marcus, R., Venezia, R. A., Keene, W. E., Morse, D., Thanassi, M., Brunett, P., Bulens, S., Beard, R. S., Dauphin, L. A., Slutkser, L., Bopp, C., Eberhard, M., Hall, A., Vinje, J., Monroe, S. S., & Glass, R. I. (2012). The etiology of severe acute gastroenteritis among adults visiting emergency departments in the United States. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 205, 1374–1381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Caul, E. O. (1996). Viral gastroenteritis: Small round structured viruses, caliciviruses and astroviruses. Part I. The clinical and diagnostic perspective. Journal of Clinical Pathology, 49, 874–880.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Davidson, G. P., & Barnes, G. L. (1979). Structural and functional abnormalities of the small intestine in infants and young children with rotavirus enteritis. Acta Paediatrica Scandinavica, 68, 181–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Koo, H. L., Ajami, N., Atmar, R. L., & DuPont, H. L. (2010). Noroviruses: The principal cause of foodborne disease worldwide. Discovery Medicine, 10, 61–70.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Wolffs, P. F. G., Bruggeman, C. A., Van Well, G. T. J., & Van Loo, I. H. M. (2011). Replacing traditional diagnostics of fecal viral pathogens by a comprehensive panel of real-time PCRs. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 49, 1926–1931.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyN. Goormaghtig Institute, University GentGentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of PathologyKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium