Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Helen O'Shea


Rotaviruses are a major cause of gastroenteritis in humans and animals. To date, seven serogroups (A to G) of rotavirus have been determined. Group A Rotaviruses (GARVs) are enteric pathogens, causing acute watery dehydrating diarrhea in various host species, including birds and mammals. Rotaviruses account for ~611,000 child deaths each year, mainly in developing countries. Likewise, rotavirus-associated enteritis is a major problem in young calves, weaning and post-weaning piglets and foals. Vaccines against the most important serologic group of rotaviruses (GARVs) are available for the prevention of rotavirus diseases in cows and horses, and, more recently, they have been made available for the prevention of rotavirus disease in infants and young children. Group B rotaviruses were linked to an outbreak of water-borne gastroenteritis in China and have been identified from sporadic cases of infantile diarrhea outside China. Group C rotaviruses are also important human enteric pathogens and have also been detected in a variety of mammalian species, including pigs. Group C rotaviruses have been identified in piglets with diarrhoea, but their ecology remains to be elucidated. Caliciviruses are also an important cause of gastroenteritis in humans and animals. Molecular analysis of the polymerase and capsid genes of porcine caliciviruses, sapoviruses (SaVs) and noroviruses (NoVs), has demonstrated a broad range of genetic diversity, but information on their epidemiology and pathogenic role in pigs is limited.

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Virology Commons