Noroviruses, with Norwalk virus as the prototype strain, are the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in people of all ages. Limited information on the immunology of Norovirus infections has been obtained by studies both in the natural setting and in experimentally infected volunteers. Interpretation of these studies is difficult due to the lack of information on the history of Norovirus exposure and the cross-reactivity of antibodies. An animal model for Norovirus infections would be important to study the immune response, e.g., for vaccine assessment. In the present study the susceptibility of common marmosets, cotton top tamarins, cynomolgus, and rhesus macaques to Norovirus infection was tested. Following oral inoculation, low level replication may have occurred in common marmosets and cotton top tamarins but not in cynomolgus macaques, based on short-term viral shedding; neither clinical symptoms nor antibody responses were observed in these species. In contrast, rhesus macaques were found susceptible to Norwalk virus infection as one animal shed virus for a longer period of time and developed Norwalk virus specific IgM and IgG responses. Further research on Norovirus susceptibility in rhesus macaques may yield an animal model to study the immune response and pathogenesis after Norovirus infection.

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Keywords Immune response, Infection model, Non-bacterial gastroenteritis, Non-human primates, Virus shedding
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Journal Journal of Medical Virology
Rockx, B, Bogers, W, Heeney, J.L, van Amerongen, G, & Koopmans, M.P.G, D.V.M. (2005). Experimental norovirus infections in non-human primates. Journal of Medical Virology, 75(2), 313–320. doi:10.1002/jmv.20273