Journal of Hygiene

Research Article

An outbreak of calicivirus associated gastroenteritis in an elderly persons home. A possible zoonosis?

T. J. Humphreya1, J. G. Cruickshanka1 and W. D. Cubitta2

a1 Public Health Laboratory, Church Lane, Heavitree, Exeter EX2 5AD

a2 Public Health Laboratory, Central Middlesex Hospital, Park Royal, London NW10 7NS


An outbreak of gastroenteritis caused by calicivirus began amongst residents and staff of an old persons home 24 hours after the proprietor's dog had been sick. Serological evidence suggests that the calicivirus isolated from one of the cases may be capable of infecting dogs as well as man. The virus strain responsible for this outbreak differs antigenically from those associated with two other outbreaks in the U.K. and one in Japan. The characteristic morphology of calicivirus is lost if stool is stored at – 70°C.

(Received March 26 1984)

(Accepted May 09 1984)