Chronic enterocyte infection with coronavirus. One possible cause of the syndrome of tropical sprue?

Dig Dis Sci. 1982 Nov;27(11):1039-43. doi: 10.1007/BF01391753.


A man with a gastrojejunostomy and intestinal malabsorption was found to be excreting large numbers of coronavirus-like particles in his stools over a period of at least eight months. Coronavirus-like particles were found in vesicles in degenerating jejunal enterocytes in all of five jejunal biopsies. In a review of electron micrographs, similar structures were found in biopsies from three of 12 patients with classical chronic tropical sprue and in one patient with a sprue-like syndrome associated with agammaglobulinaemia. The hypothesis is advanced that infection with this virus may produce enterocyte damage and may be one cause of the syndrome of tropical sprue.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coronaviridae Infections* / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases*
  • Malabsorption Syndromes / etiology
  • Malabsorption Syndromes / microbiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sprue, Tropical / etiology*
  • Sprue, Tropical / microbiology