Norovirus in health care and implications for the immunocompromised host

Pearlie P. Chong, Robert L. Atmar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewThe majority of norovirus outbreaks in the United States occur in healthcare facilities. With the growing population of immunocompromised hosts who are in frequent contact with healthcare facilities, norovirus is not only a threat to hospitals and nursing homes but also to these individuals. This review summarizes the impact of norovirus infection on healthcare facilities and immunocompromised hosts.Recent findingsThe natural history of norovirus infection in immunocompromised individuals remains poorly understood. Although host immune responses play a critical role in reducing duration of viral shedding and viral load in norovirus-infected individuals, why some immunocompromised patients spontaneously recover while others develop a chronic and protracted course of illness remains unclear. Norovirus outbreaks occur in healthcare facilities because the virus is highly contagious, resistant to disinfection and efficiently transmitted. The use of real-time metagenomic next-generation sequencing and phylogenetic analyses has provided valuable information on transmission patterns in complex hospital-associated norovirus outbreaks. The development of human intestinal enteroid cultures enables the determination of effectiveness of disinfectants against human noroviruses, circumventing the validity questions with surrogate virus models due to differences in susceptibility to inactivation and disinfectants.SummaryMetagenomics next-generation sequencing can enhance our understanding of norovirus transmission and lead to more timely mitigation strategies to curb norovirus outbreaks in healthcare facilities. With new in-vitro cultivation methods for human noroviruses, candidate vaccines and effective antivirals could be available in the near future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-355
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • immunocompromised
  • norovirus
  • nosocomial
  • outbreak
  • transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Norovirus in health care and implications for the immunocompromised host'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this