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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 2016, Article ID 1280247, 6 pages
Research Article

Outbreak of Norovirus GII.P17-GII.17 in the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia

1Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA), Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 1V8
2Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4R2
3Provincial Public Health Laboratory Network of Nova Scotia (PPHLN), Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 1V8
4National Microbiology Laboratory (NML), Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3E 3R2
5University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2N2

Received 15 September 2015; Accepted 13 December 2015

Copyright © 2016 Jason J. LeBlanc et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Norovirus is the leading cause of viral gastroenteritis, with GII.4 being the most common circulating genotype. Recently, outbreaks in China revealed that norovirus GII.17 GII.P17 had become predominant. Objective. This study aimed to characterize the distribution of norovirus genotypes circulating in Nova Scotia. Methods. Stool specimens were collected from gastrointestinal outbreaks in Nova Scotia between Jan 2014 and June 2015 and subjected to real-time RT-PCR. Norovirus-positive specimens were referred to the National Microbiology Laboratory for sequence-based genotyping. Results. The first norovirus GII.P17-GII.17 outbreak in Canada was identified, but no widespread activity was observed in Nova Scotia. Discussion. It is unknown whether GII.P17-GII.17 is more widespread in Canada since contributions to Canadian surveillance are too sparse to effectively monitor the epidemiology of emerging norovirus genotypes. Conclusions. Presence of norovirus GII.17:P17 in Canada highlights the need for more systematic surveillance to ensure that molecular targets used for laboratory detection are effective and help understand norovirus evolution, epidemiology, and pathogenesis.