Viral shape-shifting: norovirus evasion of the human immune system

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2010 Mar;8(3):231-41. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2296. Epub 2010 Feb 2.


Noroviruses are the most common cause of food-borne gastroenteritis worldwide, and explosive outbreaks frequently occur in community settings, where the virus can immobilize large numbers of infected individuals for 24-48 hours, making the development of effective vaccines and antiviral therapies a priority. However, several challenges have hampered therapeutic design, including: the limitations of cell culture and small-animal model systems; the complex effects of host pre-exposure histories; differential host susceptibility, which is correlated with blood group and secretor status; and the evolution of novel immune escape variants. In this Review, we discuss the molecular and structural mechanisms that facilitate the persistence of noroviruses in human populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Caliciviridae Infections / immunology
  • Caliciviridae Infections / virology
  • Capsid Proteins / immunology
  • Gastroenteritis / immunology
  • Gastroenteritis / virology
  • Humans
  • Immune Evasion*
  • Norovirus / immunology*
  • Norovirus / physiology
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Viral Vaccines