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Epidemiology and molecular analysis of norovirus outbreaks in Ireland

Project Reference: 03-RESR-002

Status: Completed

Commencement Date: July, 2004

Project Duration: 6 months


It has been increasingly recognised that noroviruses are a major cause of gastroenteritis causing large outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease in a number of settings.

The overall aim of the project was to carry out surveillance of norovirus outbreaks on the island of Ireland and to link available epidemiological and molecular data on norovirus outbreaks in a common database. This data was used to review evidence for different transmission pathways e.g. person-to-person, foodborne.


Principal Contractor(s):

Dr Maureen Lynch and Dr Sinead Kelly, Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin


Dr Paul McKeown, National Disease Surveillance Centre, Dublin

Dr Margaret Fitzgerald, Eastern Regional Health Authority, Dublin

Dr Suzie Coughlan, Prof William Hall, & Prof Seamus Fanning, University College Dublin

Dr Brian Smyth, Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre, Belfast

Dr Hugh O’ Neill & Dr Peter Coyle, Regional Virus Reference Laboratory, Belfast


Peer Reviews:

Kelly S, Foley B, Dunford L, Coughlan S, Tuite G, Duffy M, Mitchell S, Smyth B, O'Neill H, McKeown P, Hall W, Lynch M. “Establishment of a national database to link epidemiological and molecular data from norovirus outbreaks in Ireland”. Epidemiol Infect. 2008 Nov; 136(11):1472-9.

Kroneman A, Harris J, Vennema H, Duizer E, van Duynhoven Y, Gray J, Iturriza M, Böttiger B, Falkenhorst G, Johnsen C, von Bonsdorff CH, Maunula L, Kuusi M, Pothier P, Gallay A, Schreier E, Koch J, Szücs G, Reuter G, Krisztalovics K, Lynch M, McKeown P, Foley B, Coughlan S, Ruggeri FM, Di Bartolo I, Vainio K, Isakbaeva E, Poljsak-Prijatelj M, Grom AH, Bosch A, Buesa J, Fauquier AS, Hernandéz-Pezzi G, Hedlund KO, Koopmans M. “Data quality of 5 years of central norovirus outbreak reporting in the European Network for food-borne viruses”. J Public Health (Oxf). 2008 Mar; 30(1):82-90.

Kroneman A, Verhoef L, Harris J, Vennema H, Duizer E, Koopmans M. “Foodborne viruses in Europe Network: Analysis of integrated virological and epidemiological reports of norovirus outbreaks collected within the foodborne viruses in Europe Network from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2006”. J Clin Microbiol. (2008) Sep;46(9):2959-65.

Verhoef LP, Kroneman A, van Duynhoven Y, Boshuizen H, van Pelt W, Koopmans M. “Foodborne Viruses in Europe Network. Selection tool for foodborne norovirus outbreaks”. Emerg Infect Dis. (2009) Jan; 15(1):31-8.

Verhoef L, Vennema H, van Pelt W, Lees D, Boshuizen H, Henshilwood K, Koopmans M. “Food-Borne Viruses in Europe Network: Use of norovirus genotype profiles to differentiate origins of foodborne outbreaks”. Emerg Infect Dis. (2010) Apr; 16(4):617-24.

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