Human norovirus infection in Latin America
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Noroviruses are important enteric pathogens involved in non-bacterial gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide. Noroviruses mainly occur from person to person via the fecal-oral route but also through contaminated food or water; indirect contamination is also possible due to the resistance of the virus in the environment. Latin American countries as a whole cover a vast North-to-South range, which is highly heterogeneous in terms of climate, ecosystem, human population distribution (urban areas with high human densities versus closed communities), economic development and genetic backgrounds resulting from each particular historical context. This review aims to present epidemiological and clinical patterns of human norovirus infections in Latin American countries. Divergent prevalences were observed depending on the country and the surveyed population. In particular, a shift in rotavirus/norovirus ratio in the etiologies of gastroenteritis was detected in some countries and could be attributed partly to rotavirus vaccine coverage in their infant population. While GII.4 noroviruses were seen to constitute the most common genotype, differences in genotype distribution were observed both in the environment (via sewage sampling proxy) and between genotypes circulating in healthy and diarrheic patients. Due to high climatic discrepancies, different patterns of seasonality were observed. Accordingly, this continent may condense the different particular epidemiological features encountered for HuNoV infections worldwide.