Norwalk-like calicivirus genes in farm animals

Emerg Infect Dis. Jan-Feb 2000;6(1):36-41. doi: 10.3201/eid0601.000106.


Viruses closely related to Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs) were recently found in stored stool samples from two calves (United Kingdom and Germany) and four pigs (Japan), sparking discussions about the potential for zoonotic transmission. To investigate if NLVs are commonly present in farm animals, pooled stool samples from 100 pig farms, 48 chicken farms, 43 dairy cow herds, and 75 veal calf farms from the Netherlands were assayed by reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction amplification, using primers specific for the detection of NLVs from humans. NLV RNA was detected in 33 (44%) of the specimens from veal calf farms and two (2%) specimens from pig farms. Our data show that NLV infections until recently thought to be restricted to humans occur often in calves and sometimes in pigs. While zoonotic transmission has not been proven, these findings suggest that calves and pigs may be reservoir hosts of NLVs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle / virology*
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Humans
  • Norwalk virus / classification
  • Norwalk virus / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Swine / virology*