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Guideline for the Prevention and Control of Norovirus Gastroenteritis Outbreaks in Healthcare Settings, 2011

Q2: What are the best methods to identify a norovirus outbreak in a healthcare setting?

Diagnostic methods – Fecal specimens


Author, Yr (Ref) Study Design Quality Study Objective Population and Setting N Results Comments Ref ID_Data extracted by
Jean, J; 2003 143

Diagnostic study


To evaluate the sensitivity of NASBA primers specific for the GII norovirus adapted for RT-PCR and the effect of transcriptional enhancement (TE) both followed by electrochemiluminescence (ECL).

Stool specimens from regional

gastroenteritis outbreaks. Study conducted in North Carolina

Not reported

Sensitivity of NASBA derived RT-PCR
Comparable to other RT-PCR protocols. Consistent detection of viral RNA by RT-PCR was obtained up to approximately -7 log10 dilution with ECL readings ranging from 3.2 to 3.6 log10

Sensitivity of NASBA derived RT-PCR/TE
A detection limit of ≥1 log10 was observed with ECL readings ranging from 4.3 to >7.0 log10

Power and sample size not reported

Greene, S; 2003 144

Diagnostic study

To determine the test characteristics of a rapid NASBA when compared with RT-PCR for the detection of Norwalk-like viruses (NLV)                                      

Volunteers challenged with norovirus. Demographics not reported. Study setting unclear.

15 stool specimens

Detection limits
The NASBA assay could consistently detect 105-102 detectable units of NLV RNA in a stool filtrate.

Cross-reactivity studies with a representative panel of other enteric pathogens were negative




Power and sample size not reported


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