The Adenoviridae Virus Family: Infections of Head, Chest & Abdomen

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Liver Cancer and Hepatitis B: Hepadnaviridae Structure, Transmission & Disease

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:05 The Adenoviridae Virus Family
  • 0:38 Adenoviridae Structure…
  • 3:53 Adenoviridae Disease
  • 5:53 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

In this lesson, we'll talk about how the Adenoviridae virus family causes gastroenteritis, why adenovirus 14 is dangerous, and what vertical and horizontal transmission is, as well as something disgusting called the orofecal route.

The Adenoviridae Virus Family

Hey! If you've got an upper respiratory infection, the stomach flu, pneumonia or bronchitis, then I have a virus for you! In fact, I have many viruses for sale in my store, including deadly, emerging viruses that are all part of the Adenoviridae virus family. In this lesson, we'll take a look at the structure, methods of transmission and diseases caused by the viruses in this family, and we'll find out which diseases are for sale in the Ye Ol' Virus Shoppe.

Adenoviridae Structure and Transmission

In order to preemptively quench a potential source of confusion, I'm going to offer you a free sample of food for thought as you enter the store. The terms 'Adenoviridae' and 'adenovirus' are basically the same. 'Adenoviridae' refers to the actual family name, so to speak, or the collection of viruses that are known individually as 'adenoviruses.' It's basically like saying the Smith family has a few people in it, and they are known individually as a 'Smith,' or adenovirus.

Anyway, as you munch on that free sample, you can walk into my virus store and turn into the adenovirus aisle. Here, you'll see a sign hanging up above the aisle describing the contents of this virus family. The sign above the aisle says that adenoviruses are a medium-sized virus family, basically two parents and a couple of kids type of deal.

They're also a non-enveloped virus. As a general rule, the fact that they're non-enveloped means that they are more stable in the environment and are harder to kill than the enveloped viruses. This is because the enveloped viruses have a thin and sensitive membrane that, if popped, will cause the virus to die.

Like the enveloped viruses, the non-enveloped viruses have a tough outer shell, called a capsid, that is harder to break apart. However, because the non-enveloped viruses do not depend on a much more fragile envelope for survival, they are intrinsically harder to kill.

The capsid that encloses the nucleic acids in this specific family has an icosahedral shape. In addition, viruses in this family are DNA viruses that have a linear, double-stranded DNA. Furthermore, adenoviruses utilize methods of horizontal disease transmission, which means they are spread to other members of the same or different species through non-hereditary means.

For example, adenoviruses spread via the respiratory route, just like the flu is spread when you sneeze and another person inhales the virus particles expelled during the sneeze itself. However, other pathogens or genetic conditions can be spread by way of vertical disease transmission, which means it is spread from parent to offspring genetically, or by way of passing an infection from a mother to her child, such as when contaminated breast milk infects an infant.

In the context of my store's goods, adenoviruses are spread from one gummy bear color to any other color gummy bear, whereas vertically transmitted viruses would go from the red mama bear to the red baby gummy bear. Besides the respiratory route of transmission, another, even more disgusting horizontal transmission route this family uses is the orofecal route.

'Orofecal' refers to the spread of a pathogen from feces to the mouth. For example, if the water used to flush someone's number two waste product isn't disinfected properly and you end up drinking it, you could drink yourself all the way to a nice stomach flu.

Adenoviridae Disease

Which brings me to my next point: On the shelf of the adenovirus aisle are many diseases you can buy. One of the ones that adenoviruses cause is called gastroenteritis. This is the technical term for the stomach flu. 'Gastro' refers to the stomach, and 'entero' refers to the intestines, both of which are located in your abdomen. The suffix 'itis' refers to the inflammation of your stomach and intestines that causes a lot of the symptoms associated with the stomach flu.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account