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J Clin Virol. 2017 Feb;87:60-66. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2016.12.009. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

Norovirus in feces and nasopharyngeal swab of children with and without acute gastroenteritis symptoms: First report of GI.5 in Brazil and GI.3 in nasopharyngeal swab.

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Laboratory of Virology, Federal University of Goiás, Brazil.
Laboratory of Molecular Bacteriology, Federal University of Goiás, Brazil.
Laboratory of Virology, Federal University of Goiás, Brazil. Electronic address:



Noroviruses (NoVs) are an important cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE), worldwide.


To evaluate the frequency, viral load and molecular profile of NoV in fecal and nasopharyngeal swab samples from hospitalized children, and to determine children's secretor status.


From May 2014 to May 2015, 219 children were included in the study, 96 with gastroenteric symptoms and 123 without gastroenteric symptoms. All fecal and nasopharyngeal swab samples were screened by TaqMan RT-qPCR duplex (GI/GII NoV) and quality samples were characterized by genomic sequencing.


Norovirus positivity rate in feces was 15.4% in asymptomatic and 18.8% in the symptomatic group. The median viral loads in feces were 2.69×108GC/g and 4.32×107GC/g from children with or without AGE symptoms, respectively. In nasopharyngeal swab samples, the NoV positivity was 11.4% in symptomatic children, with a median viral load of 2.20×107GC/mL and 6.5% in asymptomatic children, with an average viral load of 1.73×106GC/mL. In only two cases NoV was detected in both samples. A considerable genomic variability was observed in feces, with six genotypes being detected, as follows: GII.4, GII.6, GI.3 and GII.3, GI.2 and GI.5. Two GI.3 was detected in nasopharyngeal swab.


Our data reveal considerable NoV frequencies in both nasopharyngeal and fecal samples from symptomatic and asymptomatic children. Higher viral loads were detected in samples from AGE symptomatic children, when compared to asymptomatic children. High genomic variability was observed, with this being the first report of GI.5 NoV in Brazil and of GI.3 in nasopharyngeal swab samples.


Asymptomatic NoV infection; Genotypes; Hospitalized children; NoV in nasopharyngeal swab; Norovirus; RT-qPCR; Viral load

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