Single-step RT-PCR assay for dual genotyping of GI and GII norovirus strains

Preeti Chhabra, Hannah Browne, Thalia Huynh, Marta Diez-Valcarce, Leslie Barclay, Margaret N. Kosek, Tahmeed Ahmed, Maria Renee Lopez, Chao Yang Pan, Jan Vinjé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Noroviruses are the major cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in people of all ages globally. Standardized genotyping is key for outbreak investigations and surveillance networks. Objective: Here we describe the validation of a one-step conventional RT-PCR assay for sequence-based dual typing of GI and GII noroviruses. This polymerase (P) and capsid (C) dual typing assay uses a combination of previously published oligonucleotide primers amplifying a genomic region spanning the 3'-end of ORF1 and 5'end of ORF2 resulting in a 579 bp product for GI and 570 bp product for GII viruses. Results: The limit of detection of the assay ranged from 5 to 50 copies of viral RNA per reaction for GI and GII. To validate the assay, we tested 2,663 noroviruspositive stool samples from outbreaks and sporadic cases of AGE in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Peru, and USA collected between 2010–2019, of which 2,392 (90 %) were genotyped successfully. Most of the known genotypes infecting humans (GI (n = 9) and GII (n = 23)) and P types (GI (n = 15), GII, (n = 20)) could be detected. The remaining 270 samples had low viral load (Ct > 30) by real-time RT-PCR. A panel of 166 samples positive for other enteric viruses (rotavirus, astrovirus, sapovirus, adenovirus type 40/41) tested negative. Conclusion: The use of broadly reactive genotyping assays greatly strengthens exchange of standardized genotype data globally to monitor trends in genotype diversity which is important for both the development of vaccines and to measure their impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104689
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Gastroenteritis
  • Norovirus
  • RT-PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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