Norovirus (NoV) is a major cause of gastroenteritis and hospital outbreaks, leading to substantial morbidity and direct healthcare expenses as well as indirect societal costs. The aim of the study was to estimate the proportion of nosocomial NoV infections among inpatients testing positive for NoV in Denmark, 2002-2010, and to study the distribution of NoV genotypes among inpatients with nosocomial and community-acquired NoV infections, respectively.
Admission and stool sampling dates from 3656 NoV-infected patients were used to estimate the proportion of nosocomial infections. The associations between nosocomial infection and patient age, sex, and NoV genotype GII.4 were examined.
Of the 3656 inpatients, 63% were classified as having nosocomial infections. Among these, 9 capsid and 8 polymerase NoV genotypes were detected, whereas in the smaller group of inpatients with community-acquired infections, 12 capsid and 9 polymerase genotypes were detected. Nosocomial NoV infections were associated with age =60 years and infections with genotype GII.4.
The majority of NoV infections in hospitalized patients were nosocomial. Nosocomial infection was mainly associated with older age but also with the specific genotype GII.4. The genotypes in community-acquired NoV infections were more heterogeneous than in nosocomial infections.