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Infectious Norovirus Is Chronically Shed by Immunocompromised Pediatric Hosts.

  • Author(s): Davis, Amy
  • Cortez, Valerie
  • Grodzki, Marco
  • Dallas, Ronald
  • Ferrolino, Jose
  • Freiden, Pamela
  • Maron, Gabriela
  • Hakim, Hana
  • Hayden, Randall T
  • Tang, Li
  • Huys, Adam
  • Kolawole, Abimbola O
  • Wobus, Christiane E
  • Jones, Melissa K
  • Karst, Stephanie M
  • Schultz-Cherry, Stacey
  • et al.

Published Web Location

Noroviruses are a leading cause of gastroenteritis worldwide. Although infections in healthy individuals are self-resolving, immunocompromised individuals are at risk for chronic disease and severe complications. Chronic norovirus infections in immunocompromised hosts are often characterized by long-term virus shedding, but it is unclear whether this shed virus remains infectious. We investigated the prevalence, genetic heterogeneity, and temporal aspects of norovirus infections in 1140 patients treated during a 6-year period at a pediatric research hospital. Additionally, we identified 20 patients with chronic infections lasting 37 to >418 days. Using a new human norovirus in vitro assay, we confirmed the continuous shedding of infectious virus for the first time. Shedding lasted longer in male patients and those with diarrheal symptoms. Prolonged shedding of infectious norovirus in immunocompromised hosts can potentially increase the likelihood of transmission, highlighting the importance of isolation precautions to prevent nosocomial infections.

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