Genetic and antigenic diversity of human caliciviruses (HuCVs) using RT-PCR and new EIAs

Arch Virol Suppl. 1996;12:251-62. doi: 10.1007/978-3-7091-6553-9_27.


RT-PCR using primers from conserved regions of calicivirus genomes, followed by sequencing, permits characterization of genetic variation within the family. EIAs based on baculovirus-expressed viral capsid proteins and hyperimmune antisera against the capsid proteins were developed to detect HuCV antigens and antibodies. Serologic surveys using recombinant Norwalk virus (rNV) and recombinant Mexico virus (rMX, a SMA-like virus) EIAs showed that infections by HuCVs are common and that children acquire antibodies to HuCVs at an early age in both developed and developing countries. Three HuCV genogroups have been described that are represented by Norwalk virus (NV), Snow Mountain agent (SMA), and Sapporo virus, although recently accumulated sequences of HuCV strains indicate these genogroups can be further divided. These genogroups also correspond to distinct antigenic groups based on the results of the recombinant EIAs. The three genogroups co-circulate and have a worldwide distribution, although the SMA genogroup seems to be predominant currently. Application of these new assays for further characterization of the genetic and antigenic properties of HuCVs remains an important task for HuCV research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Antigenic Variation / immunology*
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • Caliciviridae / classification
  • Caliciviridae / genetics*
  • Caliciviridae / immunology*
  • Caliciviridae / isolation & purification
  • Caliciviridae Infections / virology*
  • Capsid / genetics
  • Capsid / immunology
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques*
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins