Molecular Epidemiology of Human Astroviruses

  1. Derek Chadwick and
  2. Jamie A. Goode
  1. Stephan S. Monroe1,
  2. Jennifer L. Holmes1,2 and
  3. Gaël M. Belliot1,3

Published Online: 7 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/0470846534.ch14

Gastroenteritis Viruses: Novartis Foundation Symposium 238

Gastroenteritis Viruses: Novartis Foundation Symposium 238

How to Cite

Monroe, S. S., Holmes, J. L. and Belliot, G. M. (2001) Molecular Epidemiology of Human Astroviruses, in Gastroenteritis Viruses: Novartis Foundation Symposium 238 (eds D. Chadwick and J. A. Goode), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/0470846534.ch14

Author Information

  1. 1

    Viral Gastroenteritis Section, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA

  2. 2

    Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge, TN, USA

  3. 3

    Atlanta Research and Educational Foundation, Atlanta, GA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: 16 MAY 2001

Book Series:

  1. Novartis Foundation Symposia

Book Series Editors:

  1. Novartis Foundation

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471496632

Online ISBN: 9780470846537



  • human;
  • astrovirus;
  • epidemiology;
  • molecular;
  • gastroenteritis;
  • capsid;
  • protein;
  • diarrhoea;
  • RT-PCR;
  • serotypes;
  • lineage;
  • ORF


Human astroviruses (HAstVs) are associated with 5–9 percent of cases of gastroenteritis in young children. Seven serotypes (HAstV-1 to -7), which correlate with genotypes, have been defined by using immune typing methods. We have used partial nucleotide sequence information from the capsid protein gene for molecular typing of 29 unique human astrovirus strains obtained from prospective studies of children with gastroenteritis in Egypt and Malawi. HAstV-1 was the most commonly detected strain, consistent with previous studies, but a surprising variety of strains were identified in both collections. An eighth astrovirus type, HAstV-8, has been defined on the basis of the complete capsid protein gene sequence and was detected in both collections analysed in this study. Although HAstV-8 and HAstV-4 strains segregate into well resolved clades by analysis of sequences from the region encoding protein P2 (VP32), the pair-wise distances between these types are less than those between strains of the other serotypes. In contrast, analysis of sequences from the region encoding protein P3 unambiguously resolve HAstV-4 and HAstV-8 strains, consistent with their classification as distinct serotypes. Overall, strains representing six of the eight serotypes were detected in two collections of samples from prospective studies of gastroenteritis in young children indicating that multiple astrovirus types are frequently co-circulating within communities.