Background Noroviruses are an important cause of gastroenteritis but little is known about disease and re-infection rates in community settings in Asia. Methods Disease, re-infection rates, strain prevalence and genetic susceptibility to noroviruses were investigated in a birth cohort of 373 Indian children followed up for three years. Stool samples from 1856 diarrheal episodes and 147 vomiting only episodes were screened for norovirus by RT-PCR. Norovirus positivity was correlated with clinical data, secretor status and ABO blood group. Results Of 1856 diarrheal episodes, 207 (11.2%) were associated with norovirus, of which 49(2.6%) were norovirus GI, 150(8.1%) norovirus GII, and 8 (0.4%) were mixed infections with both norovirus GI and GII. Of the 147 vomiting only episodes, 30 (20.4%) were positive for norovirus in stool, of which 7 (4.8%) were norovirus GI and 23 (15.6%) GII. At least a third of the children developed norovirus associated diarrhea, with the first episode at a median age of 5 and 8 months for norovirus GI and GII, respectively. Norovirus GI.3 and GII.4 were the predominant genotypes (40.3% and 53.0%) with strain diversity and change in the predominant sub-cluster over time observed among GII viruses. A second episode of norovirus gastroenteritis was documented in 44/174 (25.3%) ever-infected children. Children with the G428A homozygous mutation for inactivation of the FUT2 enzyme (se428 se428 )wereata significantly lower risk (48/190) of infection with norovirus (p = 0.01).
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