Human Adenoviruses (HAdV) are non-enveloped, non-segmented double stranded DNA viruses, belonging to the genus Mastadenovirus within the Adenoviridae family of viruses. Human Adenoviruses have been further classified into seven species groups A- G. Since the discovery of adenovirus in human adenoid tissue in 1953, by Wallace Rowe and colleagues, more than 50 serotypes of human adenovirus and 70 genotypes have been identified (Cook, J) .
Human adenoviruses are globally widespread and ubiquitous in the environment. HAdV can persist in the environment and is resistant to most household disinfectants. Transmission of HAdV occurs primarily via the faecal-oral route, with contaminated water and food being the source of infection. HAdV may also be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces and through aerosol droplets from an infected individual.
Human adenoviruses commonly cause respiratory disease but some HAdV serotypes cause gastrointestinal disease, conjunctivitis and cystitis. The clinical disease caused by HAdV infection varies depending on the HAdV type. In immunocompromised patients, HAdV infection can cause severe clinical symptoms that may lead to respiratory failure, neurological disease and death.
Currently there is no specific treatment for HAdV infection, which is mild and self-limiting in most cases, and licensed vaccines are not available for prophylactic treatment of the general public (CDC).
- Cook J, Radke J. (2017). Mechanisms of pathogenesis of emerging adenoviruses. F1000Res. Jan 30;6:90. PMID: 28184296
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Adenoviruses
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