Caliciviridae Sean McCaffrey

The Caliciviridae family has five different genera, they are the vesivirus, lagovirus, norovirus, sapovirus, and nebovirus. These five strains all have different effects on different animals. The norovirus and the sapovirus are the only two viruses that infect humans.

The strain I will be focusing on is the norovirus, and this is commonly know as the Norwalk virus.

Life cycle of Norovirus: This virus enters the cell by attaching to the host receptors, from there the virus then replicates itself using the positive stranded RNA virus replication. The virus takes over the host so that it begins making copies of the virus and those virus that are made spread to other hosts.

Characteristics: Norovirus is a small virus that is covered in protein and has RNA in it and the norovirus has positive sense RNA. Norovirus infects humans and causes inflammation of stomach and intestines. Symptoms of the norovirus are vomiting and diarrhea. This virus will last for one to three days in the human body, but it is extremely contagious. The man who discovered many of its gastroenteritis properties is Albert Kapikian.

Medical Research: Norovirus has played a very important role in medical research because this virus could not be studied for a long period of time. Many scientists could not figure out how to grow this virus in culture so it could be studied. Eventually a group of scientists at Baylor College were able to successfully grow norovirus. This breakthrough allowed scientists to learn a lot of new information about human gastroenteritis viruses. Now researchers can develop procedures to stop the infection of norovirus and other harmful viruses that cause gastroenteritis. Norovirus is very important in medical research as a virus that researchers could study to develop cures for other viruses that have similar effects.

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