|This transmission electron micrograph (TEM) revealed some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by norovirus virions, or virus particles.|
Noroviruses belong to the genus Norovirus, and the family Caliciviridae. They are a group of related, single-stranded RNA, nonenveloped viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis in humans. Norovirus was recently approved as the official genus name for the group of viruses provisionally described as “Norwalk-like viruses” (NLV). See PHIL 10704 for a black and white version of this image.
What are noroviruses?
Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the “stomach flu,” or gastroenteritis (GAS-tro-en-ter-I-tis), in people. The term norovirus was recently approved as the official name for this group of viruses. Several other names have been used for noroviruses, including:
- Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs)
- caliciviruses (because they belong to the virus family Caliciviridae
- small round structured viruses.
Viruses are very different from bacteria and parasites, some of which can cause illnesses similar to norovirus infection. Like all viral infections, noroviruses are not affected by treatment with antibiotics, and cannot grow outside of a person’s body.