Methods for ascertaining norovirus disease burdens

David J. Allen, John P. Harris*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

1 Citation (Scopus)


Norovirus is the commonest cause of gastrointestinal disease worldwide in. Infections with norovirus occur in all age groups, however, the highest incidence is in children aged less than five years. Surveillance of norovirus is complicated because most people do not contact medical services when they are ill. Nevertheless, Public health laboratory surveillance worldwide has demonstrated the dominance of GII.4 viruses in the population. Better epidemiological surveillance and outbreak investigations, coupled with wider implementation of molecular-based laboratory diagnostics are leading to better estimates of the burden of norovirus infections as well as improved outbreak control. Recent advances in cell culture systems for norovirus and current research investigating the distribution of norovirus-associated disease in the population, for whom the disease burden is greatest, understanding host susceptibility factors, and methodologies for ascertaining cases, are important in increasing our understanding of norovirus. The key to surveillance of norovirus is allying the epidemiology with surveillance of virology. With recent advances in laboratory culture systems for norovirus, next generation sequencing technologies, improved diagnostics and measuring phenotypic characteristics of noroviruses, there are new opportunities to advance understanding of this common and important human pathogen that will help design strategies for vaccine and antiviral development, and how these might be best deployed to control norovirus infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2630-2636
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Gastrointestinal Infections at University of Liverpool in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), in collaboration with University of East Anglia, University of Oxford and the Institute of Food Research. DJA is based at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. JPH is based at University of Liverpool. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health or Public Health England.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis.


  • calicivirus
  • disease burden
  • infectious disease
  • norovirus
  • transmssion


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