Volume 14, Number 10–October 2008


Norwalk Virus Shedding after Experimental Human Infection

Robert L. Atmar, Comments to AuthorAntone R. Opekun, Mark A. Gilger, Mary K. Estes, Sue E. Crawford, Frederick H. Neill, and David Y. Graham
Author affiliation: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA

Source of Article:  http://www.cdc.gov/eid/content/14/10/1553.htm

Noroviruses are the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in the United States. To determine the magnitude and duration of virus shedding in feces, we evaluated persons who had been experimentally infected with Norwalk virus. Of 16 persons, clinical gastroenteritis (watery diarrhea and/or vomiting) developed in 11; symptomatic illness lasted 1–2 days. Virus shedding was first detected by reverse transcription–PCR (RT-PCR) 18 hours after participant inoculation and lasted a median of 28 days after inoculation (range 13–56 days). The median peak amount of virus shedding was 95 × 109 (range 0.5–1,640 ×109) genomic copies/g feces as measured by quantitative RT-PCR. Virus shedding was first detected by antigen ELISA ≈33 hours (median 42 hours) after inoculation and lasted 10 days (median 7 days) after inoculation. Understanding of the relevance of prolonged fecal norovirus excretion must await the development of sensitive methods to measure virus infectivity.


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