A group of RNA viruses (family Reoviridae) wheel-like in appearance that form a genus, Rota virus, which includes the human gastroenteritis viruses (a major cause of infant diarrhea throughout the world). Separated into groups A through F, rotaviruses can infect a number of vertebrates. They are fastidious, and in vitro culture is difficult. SYN: duovirus, gastroenteritis virus type B, infantile gastroenteritis virus, reovirus-like agent. [L. rota, wheel, + virus]

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ro·ta·vi·rus 'rōt-ə-.vī-rəs n any of a genus (Rotavirus) of double-stranded RNA viruses of the family Reoviridae that have a capsid composed of two layers and cause diarrhea esp. in young vertebrates including human infants and young children
ro·ta·vi·ral -rəl adj

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any member of a genus of viruses that occur in birds and mammals and cause diarrhoea (often severe) in children. The viruses are excreted in the faeces of infected individuals and are usually transmitted in food prepared with unwashed hands. Rotavirus infection is endemic worldwide.

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Ro·ta·vi·rus (roґtə-vi″rəs) [L. rota wheel + virus] the rotaviruses, a genus of viruses of the family Reoviridae that have a wheellike appearance; they are transmitted by the fecal-oral route and cause acute infantile gastroenteritis and diarrhea in young children and many animal species. There are six antigenic groups (A–F). See Plate 49.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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