Every year, millions of children are infected with viruses that target the gastrointestinal tract, causing acute gastroenteritis and diarrheal illness. Indeed, approximately 700 million episodes of diarrhea occur in children under five annually, with RNA viruses norovirus, rotavirus, and astrovirus serving as major causative pathogens. Numerous methodological advancements in recent years, including the establishment of novel cultivation systems using enteroids as well as the development of murine and other animal models of infection, have helped provide insight into many features of viral pathogenesis. However, many aspects of enteric viral infections remain elusive, demanding further study. Here, we describe the different in vitro and in vivo tools available to explore different pathophysiological attributes of human enteric RNA viruses, highlighting their advantages and limitations depending upon the question being explored. In addition, we discuss key areas and opportunities that would benefit from further methodological progress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number975
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Gastroenteritis
  • Human astrovirus
  • Human enteroids
  • Human norovirus
  • Human rotavirus
  • Immortalized cell lines


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