Norovirus (NoV) is a major cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE). In this study, we investigated the genetic diversity of NoV strains identified in children under 5 years of age with AGE in four provinces of Angola. Faecal samples from 343 children were screened for NoV by an in house real-time PCR assay and genotyping was performed by partial capsid gene sequencing. NoV was detected in 17.4% (58/334) of the samples, with high detection rates in children <6 months old (19%) and in children aged 12-24 months (23%). Genotype diversity was large, as demonstrated by the 11 identified genotypes. GII.4 was the predominant genotype (20% of all NoV-positive samples), followed by GII.6 (15%), GI.3 (12%), GII.7 (10%) and by other genotypes to a lesser extent. Two GII.4 variants, New Orleans 2009 and Sydney 2012, were detected and several genetic clusters were observed for genotypes GI.3, GII.6 and GII.7. The present study shows high detection rates and genetic diversity of circulating NoV genotypes in paediatric AGE samples from Angola. This information emphasises the importance of continuous assessment of NoV burden and evolution in the target population.
- Acute gastroenteritis