Are Norovirus Infections Associated with Exposure to Animals in Sarawak, Malaysia?
May 15, 2017 - September 30, 2017
Diarrheal diseases are the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 5 throughout the world, and it is estimated that 12-18% of all cases of acute gastroenteritis in both children under the age of 5 and adults is due to norovirus. There are currently 5 classified norovirus genogroups, with groups I and IV transmitted in humans and II transmitted in both humans and pigs. Because GII can circulate in humans and pigs, there is increased potential for zoonotic transmission of norovirus. While there have been no documented zoonotic norovirus infections, antibodies against human norovirus have been detected in swine and antibodies against bovine norovirus have been detected in humans, suggesting potential crossover events between humans and animals. Little is known about the causative agents of diarrhea in Malaysia, but the virus has been detected in foods in the country. This study seeks to identify cases of norovirus among individuals admitted to hospitals in Sibu to understand the disease burden of norovirus. The primary objective of the study is to identify the prevalence of norovirus infections among individuals presenting with acute diarrhea at hospitals in Sarawak, Malaysia, and identify zoonotic risk factors associated with these infections. The One Health approach can be used to address emerging zoonotic viral infections because it recognizes the necessity of collaboration between human, animal, and environmental health experts. We hypothesize that diarrhea patients previously exposed to domestic and wild animals will show a higher prevalence of norovirus infection.