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What is the reservoir of emergent human norovirus strains?

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Virology
1098-5514
Publisher
American Society for Microbiology
Publication Date
Volume
89
Issue
11
Pages
5756–5759
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1128/JVI.03063-14
PMID: 25787285
Source
Medline

Abstract

Since 1996, there have been at least six human norovirus pandemics. All of the pandemic strains are genetically related, segregating in the genogroup II, genotype 4 (GII.4) cluster within the Norovirus genus. Evidence indicates that these strains are closely related but antigenically distinct, supporting immune-driven viral evolution. Thus, norovirus vaccines will likely require periodic reformulation to protect from newly emergent strains. A major obstacle is that the reservoir of emergent strains is unknown. Noroviruses display tight species specificity and there is no evidence supporting zoonotic transmission, so an animal reservoir is considered unlikely. Moreover, available data indicate minimal viral diversity in most natural human infections. In this Gem, we discuss the widely speculated idea that chronically infected immunocompromised individuals are norovirus reservoirs and provide a rationale for the theory that elderly and malnourished hosts may also represent norovirus reservoirs.

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