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Acute gastroenteritis is a major public health problem worldwide, as it is the main cause of childhood mortality especially in developing countries. It is now appreciated that viruses are the most common cause of gastroenteritis worldwide. Rotaviruses remains the leading cause of diarrheal disease overall. Noroviruses, Astroviruses and Adenoviruses are also responsible for a large number of the above infection. As diagnostic techniques improve, however, more pathogens become more apparent and the number of viruses associated with gastroenteritis continues to increase. The molecular characterization of many of these gastroenteritis viruses has led to advances both in our understanding of the pathogens themselves and in development of a new generation of diagnostics. Application of these more sensitive methods to detect and characterize individual agents is just beginning, but has already opened up new avenues to reassess their disease burden, examine their molecular epidemiology, and consider new directions and control through vaccination.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Acta Microbiologica Hellenica

Publication Date

01/03/2011

Volume

56

Pages

89 - 103