Serological evidence for multiple strains of canine norovirus in the UK dog population

PLoS One. 2013 Dec 5;8(12):e81596. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081596. eCollection 2013.


Noroviruses are associated with intestinal disease in humans, cows, pigs, mice, and, more recently, dogs. In 2007, the first canine norovirus (CNV) was identified and characterized in Italy. Subsequent studies have identified CNV in stools of dogs from Portugal, Greece, and the United States. To investigate the prevalence of CNV in the UK dog population, 228 canine stool samples were screened for CNV by qPCR, and 396 serum samples were screened for anti-CNV antibodies. qPCR of RNA extracted from canine stool samples did not reveal any CNV-positive samples, based on samples collected from diarrhoeic and control dogs in 2012-2013. CNV virus-like particles to three different CNV strains were produced using recombinant baculoviruses and a seroprevalence screen undertaken. Anti-CNV antibodies were identified at significant levels in canine serum; 38.1% of samples collected between 1999-2001 and 60.1% of samples collected in 2012-2013 were seropositive. The increase in seroprevalence over time (p<0.001) suggests that the CNV strains screened for are becoming more widespread. Variation in seroprevalence to different CNV strains was also identified. Two-thirds of the dogs were seropositive to a single strain, whereas the remaining third were seropositive to two or three of the strains analysed. This study has provided the first evidence that CNV is present in the UK, with seroprevalence identified to multiple circulating strains. This warrants further study and increased awareness of this recently discovered canine virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Cross Reactions
  • Dogs / virology*
  • Norovirus / classification
  • Norovirus / genetics
  • Norovirus / isolation & purification*
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Serologic Tests*
  • Species Specificity
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • RNA, Viral