Viral gastroenteritis presents a major public health concern worldwide. It is mostly a disease of young children. However, acquired immunity may wane and symptomatic infection can also occur in adults. Furthermore, asymptomatic adults may promote the spread of infections by shedding virus in their stools. This review covers the four most common causes of adult viral gastroenteritis, Calicivirirdae (predominantly noroviruses), astroviruses, enteric adenoviruses and rotaviruses focussing on their epidemiologic, structural, pathogenic and clinical aspects. In addition, current and future prevention and treatment options are discussed, including recent patents. While specific inhibitors of viral replication are currently not available, we summarized non-specific anti-viral agents and potential targets for the most important adult pathogen, Norovirus. Special emphasis is put on current and future vaccines.
Keywords: Viral gastroenteritis, intestinal, infection, gut, vaccines, Calicivirirdae, noroviruses, adenoviruses, rotaviruses, Norovirus, immune system, enteric viruses, echovirus, coxsackievirus, poliovirus, Coronaviridae, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Caliciviridae, Astrovirus, toroviruses, Aichi virus, coronaviruses, RNA, DNA genome, Sapovirus, capsid protein, open reading frames, Mamastroviru, avian astroviruses (Avastrovirus), zoonotic infections, MLB1-like, hyperplasia, vacuolization, diarrhea, Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reactions, RT-PCRs, electron microscopy, nitazoxanide, loperamide, Saccharomyces, Bifidobacterium breve
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