J Clin Microbiol 2010 May 19;48(5):1673-6. Epub 2010 Mar 19.
Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
Noroviruses (NoVs) are increasingly being recognized as an important enteric pathogen of gastroenteritis worldwide. The prevalence of NoVs as a cause of diarrhea acquired by travelers in developing countries is not well known. We examined the prevalence and importance of NoV infection in three international traveler cohorts with diarrhea acquired in three developing regions of the world, Mexico, Guatemala, and India. We also characterized the demographics and symptoms associated with NoV diarrhea in these travelers. Stool samples from 571 international travelers with diarrhea were evaluated for traditional enteropathogens. NoVs were identified using reverse transcription-PCR and probe hybridization. NoVs were identified in 10.2% of cases of travelers' diarrhea and, overall, was the second most common pathogen, following diarrheagenic Escherichia coli. The detection of NoV diarrhea significantly varied over the three study time periods in Guadalajara, Mexico, ranging from 3 of 98 (3.0%) diarrheal stools to 12 of 100 (12.0%) fecal specimens (P=0.03). The frequency of NoV diarrhea was also dependent upon the geographic region, with 17 of 100 (17.0%) travelers to Guatemala, 23 of 194 (11.9%) travelers to India, and 3 of 79 (3.8%) travelers to Mexico testing positive for NoVs from 2002 to 2003 (P=0.02). NoVs are important pathogens of travelers' diarrhea in multiple regions of the world. Significant variation in the prevalence of NoV diarrhea and in the predominant genogroup infecting travelers was demonstrated, dependent upon the specific geographic location and over time.