BMB Rep. 2015; 48(2): 61-67  
Molecular epidemiology of norovirus in South Korea
Sung-Geun Lee1, Han-Gil Cho2 & Soon-Young Paik3,*
1Korea Zoonosis Research Institute, Chonbuk National University, Iksan 570-390, 2Division of Public Health Research, Gyeonggi Province Institute of Health and Environment, Suwon 440-290, 3Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 137-701, Korea
Correspondence to: Tel: +82-2-2258-7342; Fax: +82-2-535-6477; E-mail: paik@catholic.ac.kr
Received: December 1, 2014; Published online: February 28, 2015.
© Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. All rights reserved.

Abstract
Norovirus is a major cause of viral gastroenteritis and a common cause of foodborne and waterborne outbreaks. Norovirus outbreaks are responsible for economic losses, most notably to the public health and food industry field. Norovirus has characteristics such as low infectious dose, prolonged shedding period, strong stability, great diversity, and frequent genome mutations. Besides these characteristics, they are known for rapid and extensive spread in closed settings such as hospitals, hotels, and schools. Norovirus is well known as a major agent of food-poisoning in diverse settings in South Korea. For these reasons, nationwide surveillance for norovirus is active in both clinical and environmental settings in South Korea. Recent studies have reported the emergence of variants and novel recombinants of norovirus. In this review, we summarized studies on the molecular epidemiology and nationwide surveillance of norovirus in South Korea. This review will provide information for vaccine development and prediction of new emerging variants of norovirus in South Korea.
Keywords: Epidemiology, Norovirus, Outbreak


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