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Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2018 Oct;31(5):422-432. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0000000000000476.

Human noroviruses: recent advances in a 50-year history.

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Department of Medicine.
Department of Molecular Virology & Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.



Noroviruses are a major cause of gastroenteritis. This review summarizes new information on noroviruses that may lead to the development of improved measures for limiting their human health impact.


GII.4 strains remain the most common human noroviruses causing disease, although GII.2 and GII.17 strains have recently emerged as dominant strains in some populations. Histo-blood group antigen (HBGA) expression on the gut mucosa drives susceptibility to different norovirus strains. Antibodies that block virus binding to these glycans correlate with protection from infection and illness. Immunocompromised patients are significantly impacted by norovirus infection, and the increasing availability of molecular diagnostics has improved infection recognition. Human noroviruses can be propagated in human intestinal enteroid cultures containing enterocytes that are a significant primary target for initiating infection. Strain-specific requirements for replication exist with bile being essential for some strains. Several vaccine candidates are progressing through preclinical and clinical development and studies of potential antiviral interventions are underway.


Norovirus epidemiology is complex and requires continued surveillance to track the emergence of new strains and recombinants, especially with the continued progress in vaccine development. Humans are the best model to study disease pathogenesis and prevention. New in-vitro cultivation methods should lead to better approaches for understanding virus-host interactions and ultimately to improved strategies for mitigation of human norovirus-associated disease.

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