Molecular and epidemiologic trends of caliciviruses associated with outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis in the United States, 2000-2004

J Infect Dis. 2006 Feb 1;193(3):413-21. doi: 10.1086/499315. Epub 2005 Dec 21.


Between July 2000 and June 2004, fecal specimens from 270 outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by local or state health departments for calicivirus testing. Of the 226 outbreaks that met the criteria for inclusion in the present study, caliciviruses were detected in 184 (81%) by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and nucleotide sequencing. Nursing homes, retirement centers, and hospitals were the most frequently reported settings, and person-to-person contact was the most common mode of transmission, followed by foodborne spread. Overall, genogroup II norovirus (NoV) strains were the most abundant (79%), followed by genogroup I NoV strains (19%) and sapovirus (2%). Nucleotide-sequence analysis indicated a great diversity of NoV strains and implicated the emergence of one particular sequence variant in outbreaks occurring between July 2002 and June 2003. The public health impact of caliciviruses will not be fully appreciated, nor will interventions be completely evaluated, until methods to detect these viruses are more routinely used.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Caliciviridae / classification
  • Caliciviridae / genetics*
  • Caliciviridae / isolation & purification
  • Caliciviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Caliciviridae Infections / virology
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Gastroenteritis / epidemiology*
  • Gastroenteritis / virology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Epidemiology*
  • Norwalk virus / classification
  • Norwalk virus / genetics
  • Norwalk virus / isolation & purification
  • Phylogeny
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Seasons
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • United States / epidemiology