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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 309648, 7 pages
Review Article

Current Status of Norovirus Infections in Children in Sub-Saharan Africa

Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, 15101 Lusaka, Zambia

Received 7 September 2015; Accepted 22 October 2015

Academic Editor: Marcel Tanner

Copyright © 2015 Samuel Munalula Munjita. 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.


Noroviruses are a leading cause of acute sporadic gastroenteritis worldwide. In Sub-Saharan Africa, information regarding norovirus infections in children is scarce. A systematic review of studies performed between 1993 and June 2015 was conducted to establish the genotypic distribution and prevalence of norovirus infections in children (≤17) in Sub-Saharan Africa. Analysis of data from 19 studies involving 8,399 samples from children with symptomatic and nonsymptomatic gastroenteritis revealed prevalence of 12.6% (range 4.6% to 32.4%). The prevalence of norovirus infections was higher in symptomatic children (14.2%) than asymptomatic children (9.2%). Genogroup II (GII) was the most prevalent genogroup accounting for 76.4% of all the reported norovirus infections. The rest of the infections were GI (21.7%) and GI/GII (1.9%). The most common genotypes were GII.4 (65.2%), GI.7 (33.3%), and GI.3 (21.3%). These statistics were calculated from studies carried out in 12 out of 48 Sub-Saharan African countries. Therefore, more studies involving several countries are required to determine fully the epidemiology of noroviruses and their contribution to childhood diarrhoea in Sub-Saharan Africa.