Created by Sophie Terp and Negar Azimi
Humans and Viruses
Human Biology 115A
Robert Siegel, Instructor


Sophie Terp and Negar Azimi, students at Stanford University, decided one day to devote a web page to the reovirus. The following is their homage to that which they feel is important in the realm of reoviral worship. Incidentally, they would like to dedicate this page to the biggest reovirus lover of them all, Dr. Robert Siegel.

Commonly associated with rotaviral diarrhea, the family reoviridae actually includes the orthoreoviruses, rotaviruses, coltiviruses, and orbiviruses. Incidentally, the name reovirus was proposed in 1959 in reference to a group of respiratory and enteric viruses that were not associated with any known disease process, thus the name r (respiratory), e (enteric), o (orphan)-virus. The reoviridae are nonenveloped viruses with double layered protein capsids distinctively containing 10 to 12 segments of the double stranded RNA genomes. Furthermore, these viruses are stable over wide pH, temperature ranges, as well as in airborn aerosols.

The orthoreoviruses represent the prototype of the viral family. In general, these viruses cause asymptomatic infection in humans. Rotaviruses cause human infantile gastroenteritis, accounting for approximately 50% of all cases of diarrhea in children requiring hospitalization because of dehydration (70,000 cases per year in the United States). In the developing world, rotaviruses may be responsible for as many as four million deaths per year; the World Health Organization estimates that 90% of these deaths are preventable via standard management including oral rehydration therapy in addition to feeding during and after diarrheal episodes. Coltivirus is characterized by being the causative agent for Colorado Tick Fever, while the only orbiviruses believed to infect humans are the tick-borne Kemerovo viruses of Siberia.

The image of a mammalian reovirus at the top of the page is from the Institute for Molecular Virology

Created: March 5, 2000
Last modified: March 5, 2000