Novel norovirus GII.P17-GII.17 genotype - suspected spread to Europe!
The novel GII.P17-GII.17 norovirus genotype has been reported as the cause of gastroenteritis outbreaks in China and Japan since the winter season 2014/15, replacing the pandemic strain GII.4 Sydney 2012. These emergent strains have also been sporadically reported outside Asia. In Arad, Romania, during 2015, GII.P17-GII.17 isolates, similar to Kawasaki308 2015, were identified in three patients during a large outbreak of acute gastroenteritis affecting 328 people. Fast-track diagnostics provides real-time PCR tests for the norovirus genotype GII17 in the following kits:
- FTD-3 Viral gastroenteritis
- FTD-25 Noro-C.diff
- FTD-45 Noro
Points to note:
- The first cases in Romania were reported by a hospital on the 18th of October 2015.
- The public health authorities further investigated the outbreak-associated cases among household contacts, in schools and hospitals.
- 328 suspected and confirmed cases were recorded in a community of 35,000 people.
- Cases were confirmed by testing positive for norovirus using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
- This documented outbreak, outside Asia, was caused by a norovirus strain belonging to the emergent GII.P17-GII.17 genotype
- In the near future this genotype might become the dominant genotype in Europe.
- Due to the limited number of diagnosed cases, the study could not exclude the possibility that this gastroenteritis outbreak could have been caused by another pathogen; however, considering the clustering in time and place and rapid onset of symptoms, norovirus was the most probable cause of this outbreak.
- The National and European surveillance systems should be prepared for events associated to this emergent strain.