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Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Apr;21(4):592-9. doi: 10.3201/eid2104.141073.

Norovirus genotype profiles associated with foodborne transmission, 1999-2012.


Worldwide, noroviruses are a leading cause of gastroenteritis. They can be transmitted from person to person directly or indirectly through contaminated food, water, or environments. To estimate the proportion of foodborne infections caused by noroviruses on a global scale, we used norovirus transmission and genotyping information from multiple international outbreak surveillance systems (Noronet, CaliciNet, EpiSurv) and from a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature. The proportion of outbreaks caused by food was determined by genotype and/or genogroup. Analysis resulted in the following final global profiles: foodborne transmission is attributed to 10% (range 9%%-11%) of all genotype GII.4 outbreaks, 27% (25%-30%) of outbreaks caused by all other single genotypes, and 37% (24%%-52%) of outbreaks caused by mixtures of GII.4 and other noroviruses. When these profiles are applied to global outbreak surveillance data, results indicate that ≈14% of all norovirus outbreaks are attributed to food.


attribution; communicable diseases; enteric infections; epidemiology; foodborne; gastroenteritis; genotype; norovirus; outbreaks; surveillance; transmission; virology; viruses

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