Atlas of foodborne infections
transmitted by contaminated food and water

Atlas of Patogens Contents Information sources Glossary Administration


CZ: Rotaviry
EN: Rotaviruses

Fruits and Vegetables
Water and Beverages


Foodborne Disease:
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Other viruses transmitted via foods
There are many other groups of enteric and gastroenteritis-causing viruses, but these are reported to be associated with foods either infrequently or not at all.

Mild to severe gastroenteritis -vomiting, watery diarrhoea and low-grade fever.


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Rotaviruses are classified with the Reoviridae family. They have a genome consisting of 11 double-stranded RNA segments surrounded by a distinctive two-layered protein capsid. Six serological groups have been identified, three of which (groups A, B, and C) infect humans. Rotaviruses cause acute gastroenteritis. Infantile diarrhoea, winter diarrhoea, acute nonbacterial infectious gastroenteritis, and acute viral gastroenteritis are names applied to the infection caused by the most common and widespread group A rotavirus.

Rotavirus gastroenteritis is a self-limiting, mild to severe disease characterized by vomiting, watery diarrhoea, and low-grade fever. The infective dose is presumed to be 10-100 infectious viral particles.

Because a person with rotavirus diarrhoea often excretes large numbers of virus (108-1010 infectious particles/ml of faeces), infection doses can be readily acquired through contaminated hands, objects, or utensils. Asymptomatic rotavirus excretion has been well documented and may play a role in perpetuating endemic disease. The incubation period ranges from 1-3 days. Symptoms often start with vomiting followed by 4-8 days of diarrhoea. Specific diagnosis of the disease is made by identification of the virus in the patient's stool. Rotaviruses are transmitted by the faecal-oral route.

Person-to-person spread through contaminated hands is probably the most important means by which rotaviruses are transmitted in close communities. Infected food handlers may contaminate foods that require handling and no further cooking, such as salads, fruits, and hors d'oeuvres.

Group A rotavirus is endemic worldwide. It is the leading cause of severe diarrhoea aminy infants and children, and accounts for about half of the cases requiring hospitalisation. In temperate areas, it occurs primarily in the winter, but in the tropics it occurs throughout the year.

Group B rotavirus, also called adult diarrhoea rotavirus or ADRV, has caused major epidemics of severe diarrhoea affecting thousands of persons of all ages in China. Group C rotavirus has been associated with rare and sporadic cases of diarrhoea in children in many countries.

Serogroup A rotaviruses are the single most important cause of infantile gastroenteritis worldwide, affecting an estimated 130 million infants and causing 873 000 deaths every year. The rotavirus genome consists of 11 segments of double-st


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