Norovirus Genomics and Its Applications to Vaccine Development

Noroviruses are a major cause of acute, epidemic gastroenteritis. Extensive genetic and antigenic diversity exists among circulating noroviruses, but the molecular mechanisms responsible for the generation of this diversity are poorly understood. In order to facilitate development of norovirus vaccines, the goal of this proposal is to establish a genomics approach to the analysis of norovirus diversity and evolution. Two parameters of norovirus evolution will be examined:

  1. Norovirus evolution in populations: The genomic sequences of noroviruses belonging to diverse genotypes obtained over a period of several decades will be determined in order to establish the phylodynamic features of different norovirus genotypes.
  2. Norovirus evolution in individuals: The genomic sequences of noroviruses collected from the same individual over the course of a single infection will be examined in order to define sites in the viral genome subject to positive selective pressure within a single host. A comparison of human norovirus evolution in immunocompetent and immunocompromised individuals as well as in chimpanzees will be conducted.

Taken together, this information should give insight into the regions of the norovirus genome associated with strain specificity and host adaptation. An assessment of the role of antibody selective pressure in the viral capsid protein (if identified) will be of special interest in designing and evaluating vaccines.

White Paper Access

The initial white paper submitted can be downloaded here. Since white papers are not always approved exactly as submitted, this document may not exactly describe the final form of the project. Please contact if you have any questions.


This project has been funded in whole or part with federal funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services under contract numbers N01-AI30071 and/or HHSN272200900007C.


Ramana Madupu, PhD
Assistant Professor, JCVI

Kim Green, PhD
National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, NIAID


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