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J Clin Virol. 2010 Aug;48(4):285-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2010.05.009. Epub 2010 Jun 17.

Detection of norovirus in mouthwash samples from patients with acute gastroenteritis.

Author information

1
School of Infection & Host Defence, University of Liverpool, 8th Floor Duncan Building, Daulby Street, Liverpool L69 3GA, UK. amk@liv.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Norovirus infection is characteristically associated with vomiting which is known to contain a high concentration of viral particles. The oral cavity is therefore likely to become contaminated with norovirus during episodes of gastroenteritis.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the oral detection of norovirus in patients with norovirus gastroenteritis.

STUDY DESIGN:

Faecal and oral mouthwash samples were collected in two separate settings. In the first setting, samples were collected repeatedly over a 3-week period from six family members experiencing a domestic outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis. Secondly, samples were collected at a single time point following disease onset from 59 patients hospitalised with norovirus gastroenteritis. Norovirus detection in oral and faecal samples was undertaken by RT-PCR.

RESULTS:

In the family study, norovirus was detected in early morning mouthwash samples for 10-15 days following disease onset from each of six family members. In the hospital study, 14/59 hospitalised adults with norovirus infection had norovirus detected in mouthwashes (24%; 14-37% 95% C.I.). For the hospitalised adults, the detection of norovirus in mouthwash samples was associated with the presence of vomiting (p=0.1); and in those patients with norovirus infection whose mouthwash samples were collected within 24h of the onset of vomiting, 59% (10/17) had norovirus detected.

CONCLUSIONS:

Oral mouthwashes may provide an adjunct to faecal sampling to support the diagnosis of norovirus infection. The detection of norovirus in orally-derived material raises the possibility of oral-to-oral norovirus transmission, and that this potential for transmission may extend beyond the immediate symptomatic period.

PMID:
20637439
DOI:
10.1016/j.jcv.2010.05.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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