Etiology of sporadic cases of pediatric acute gastroenteritis in asturias, Spain, and genotyping and characterization of norovirus strains involved

J Clin Microbiol. 2004 Jun;42(6):2668-74. doi: 10.1128/JCM.42.6.2668-2674.2004.


From November 2000 to October 2001, a reverse transcription-PCR using primers directed to the norovirus RNA polymerase coding region was included in a viral and bacterial routine screening to diagnose sporadic cases of acute gastroenteritis among children in Asturias, Spain. The role of noroviruses (8.6% of the positively diagnosed cases) as the cause of sporadic pediatric gastroenteritis was evaluated with respect to the detection rates of other gastroenteritis-associated viruses and bacteria. The results indicated that noroviruses were less common than rotaviruses (36.9%), Campylobacter spp. (28.8%), and Salmonella spp. (18.4%) but more frequent than astroviruses (4.3%), adenoviruses (3.8%), and Yersinia spp. (2.2%). Mixed infections involving noroviruses were rarely observed (0.5%). The presence of a norovirus-associated pediatric gastroenteritis peak in summer, as well as the complete absence of norovirus-associated cases in colder months, challenges the view that norovirus infections exclusively have wintertime seasonality. On the other hand, phylogenetic analysis of the amplified fragments showed that the norovirus strains responsible were closely related. A further study using the full-length capsid region showed that these strains could be included into genogroup II, Bristol/Lorsdale cluster, and were closely related to the 1995 and 1996 U.S. subset of strains associated with outbreaks recorded worldwide between 1995 and 1996.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Gastroenteritis / virology*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Norovirus / classification*
  • Norovirus / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction