Molecular epidemiology of norovirus from patients with acute gastroenteritis in northwestern Spain

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The high incidence of norovirus (NoV) infections seems to be related to the emergence of new variants that evolved by genetic drift of the capsid gene. In this work, that represents a first effort to describe the molecular epidemiology of NoV in the northwest of Spain, a total of eight different NoV genotypes (GII.1, GII.3, GII.4, GII.6, GII.7, GII.12, GII.13, GII.14) were detected. The major genotypes observed were GII.4 (45·42%) and GII.14 (34·9%), being detected in all age groups. In addition, and although most of GII.4 sequences belonged to 2006b (7·2%) and 2010 (50·35%) variants, the presence of new NoV variants was observed. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that a high number of GII.4 sequences (35·24%) could be assigned to the newly emerging Sydney 2012 variant, even during late 2010. The high prevalence of NoV GII.14 observed in this study may indicate the emergence of this genotype in Spain.

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