Norovirus recombination

J Gen Virol. 2007 Dec;88(Pt 12):3347-59. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.83321-0.


RNA recombination is a significant driving force in viral evolution. Increased awareness of recombination within the genus Norovirus of the family Calicivirus has led to a rise in the identification of norovirus (NoV) recombinants and they are now reported at high frequency. Currently, there is no classification system for recombinant NoVs and a widely accepted recombinant genotyping system is still needed. Consequently, there is duplication in reporting of novel recombinants. This has led to difficulties in defining the number and types of recombinants in circulation. In this study, 120 NoV nucleotide sequences were compiled from the current GenBank database and published literature. NoV recombinants and their recombination breakpoints were identified using three methods: phylogenetic analysis, SimPlot analysis and the maximum chi2 method. A total of 20 NoV recombinant types were identified in circulation worldwide. The recombination point is the ORF1/2 overlap in all isolates except one, which demonstrated a double recombination event within the polymerase region.

MeSH terms

  • Caliciviridae Infections / virology
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / genetics
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Norovirus / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • Viral Proteins
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases