What are reoviruses and how they affect us


This family includes the genera Coltivirus (causing Colorado tick fever in humans) and Orbivirus (only a few members of which are implicate in isolated cases of human disease). Other genera are Orthoreovirus (a rare cause of enteritis and upper respiratory infection in humans) and Rotavirus (a very important cause of viral gastroenteritis).


Viral gastroenteritis is a major cause of illness and death, particularly in developing countries where 5–10 million deaths from gastroenteritis, most in young children, occur annually. Rotaviruses (mainly group A) are the major cause of diarrhoeal illness in young children, accounting for 30–50% of cases admitted to hospital in developed countries, and 10-20% of deaths due to gastroenteritis in developing countries. Although infection protects against subsequent severe disease, it does not prevent reinfection. Rotavirus vaccines are urgently needed and some are in trials.

Other causes of viral gastroenteritis are enteric adenoviruses (the second most frequent cause) and Norwalk virus, caliciviruses, astroviruses and small, round, non-structured viruses (which may all cause sporadic cases or outbreaks).

The most important aspect of treatment for viral gastroenteritis is adequate fluid and electrolyte replacement, if possible by oral replacement using glucose-electrolyte solution. (The WHO recommended solution is widely used and effective.)

Concepts of infection
Major manifestations of infection
Principles of management of infection
Diseases due to viruses
DNA viruses
Diseases due to chlamydiae
Diseases due to rickettsiae
Diseases due to bacteria
  • Streptococcal infections
  • Staphylococcal infections
  • Corynebacterial infections
  • Bacillus infections
  • Bordetella infections
  • Salmonella infections
  • Food poisoning
  • Dysentery
  • Other true bacterial infections
  • Mycobacterial infections
Diseases due to spirochaetes
  • Leptospira infections
  • Borrelia infections
  • Treponema infections
Diseases due to fungi (mycoses)
  • Cutaneous fungal infections
  • Subcutaneous fungal infections
  • Systemic fungal infections
Diseases due to protozoa
Diseases due to helminths
  • Trematode (fluke) infections
  • Cestode (tapeworm) infections
  • Nematode (roundworm) infections
  • Zoonotic helminth infections
Diseases due to arthropods
Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Sexually transmitted bacterial diseases
  • Sexually transmitted viral diseases
  • Miscellaneous conditions