Astrovirus is a type of virus that was first discovered in 1975 using electron microscopes following an outbreak of diarrhoea in humans. In addition to humans, astroviruses have now been isolated from numerous mammalian animal species (and are classified as genus Mammoastrovirus) and from avian species such as ducks, chickens, and turkey poults (classified as genus Aviastrovirus). Astroviruses are 28–35 nm diameter, icosahedral viruses that have a characteristic five- or sixpointed star-like surface structure when viewed by electron microscopy. Along with the Picornaviridae and the Caliciviridae, the Astroviridae comprise a third family of nonenveloped viruses whose genome is composed of plus-sense, single-stranded RNA. Astrovirus has a non-segmented, single stranded, positive sense RNA genome within a non-enveloped icosahedral capsid. Human astroviruses have been shown in numerous studies to be an important cause of gastroenteritis in young children worldwide.