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J Clin Microbiol. 1994 Jan;32(1):121-6.

Epidemiological study of Norwalk virus infections in Japan and Southeast Asia by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays with Norwalk virus capsid protein produced by the baculovirus expression system.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Sapporo Medical University, Japan.


In this study, we investigated Norwalk virus (NV) antigen and antibody to recombinant NV (rNV) in human populations in Japan and Southeast Asia by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). Baculovirus-expressed recombinant NV (rNV) capsid protein was used for preparing antisera to rNV or used as an antigen for detecting antibody to rNV. The ELISAs were specific for NV and had sensitivities equivalent to or higher than those of the previously developed radioimmunoassays. In 159 stool samples obtained from children, mainly younger than 10 years old, with acute gastroenteritis due to small round structured viruses in Japan, only 1 was positive for NV antigen. The pattern of acquisition of antibody to rNV was quite different from those of antibodies to group A rotavirus and human calicivirus Sapporo (HuCV-Sa) strain. The prevalence of antibody to rNV remained at a low level throughout childhood and then showed a steep rise during school age and early adulthood in Japan. A high prevalence of antibody was observed in samples collected from healthy adults in Japan and Southeast Asia. These results suggested that NV infection is common in adults in Japan and Southeast Asia but may be rare in infants in Japan. The HuCV-Sa strain was negative by the ELISA, and no serological relationship between NV and the HuCV-Sa strain was found. NV may be quite different from the HuCV-Sa strain, although both viruses are classified in the family Caliciviridae.

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