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J Clin Microbiol. 2004 May;42(5):2271-4.

Asymptomatic and symptomatic excretion of noroviruses during a hospital outbreak of gastroenteritis.

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Enteric, Respiratory and Neurological Virus Laboratory Central Public Health Laboratory, Specialist and Reference Microbiology Division, Health Protection Agency, Colindale, London, NW9 5HT, United Kingdom.


During an investigation of a hospital outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis identified as being caused by a recombinant genogroup II (rGII-3a) strain, fecal specimens collected from asymptomatic staff and patients were tested by nested PCR. A GII-4 norovirus strain, the predominant strain associated with outbreaks in hospitals over the last few years, was detected in 26 and 33% of asymptomatic staff and patients, respectively. No rGII-3a (Harrow/Mexico) norovirus strains were detected in the samples of asymptomatic staff or patients.

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