Norovirus RT-qPCR and genotyping

Registry Details

Area Health Science
Lab name Enteric, Environmental and Food Virology Laboratory
Lab location Kenepuru Science Centre, Porirua
Test name Norovirus RT-qPCR and genotyping
Organisms Norovirus
Requested for surveillance yes
Notice required no
Media requirements Faecal specimen from gastroenteritis outbreak or food/waterborne illness investigation for norovirus detection and genotyping. Representative norovirus positive specimen from outbreak for genotyping. Vomit may be used but is not the preferred sample. Minimum 0.25 g or 0.25 mL.
Pre-transport requirements Store at 5 ± 3°C. EpiSurv outbreak number or case number. Specimens with no number provided may be stored until received.
Transport requirements Standard biohazard packaging. Ship specimen at ambient temperature, same day or overnight.
Unacceptable sample types Specimens received without a form, with insufficient material to analyse, or in poorly labelled or leaking containers will not be tested. Insufficient specimen (< 0.25 g or < 0.25 mL) may be rejected.
How results reported Report will state result as either positive or negative for presence of norovirus GI and/or GII. A further report will state the genotype for at least one specimen per outbreak.
Referral link Form


RT-qPCR assays are used to detect and differentiate genogroup I (GI) and genogroup II (GII) norovirus. The assays may be used to detect norovirus in stool, vomit, certain foods/shellfish, water and environmental specimens.

Representative clinical samples from each outbreak and from food/waterborne illness investigations that are norovirus positive by RT-qPCR at ESR, and positive specimens submitted by other laboratories (and confirmed to be positive by ESR) will be genotyped.

Norovirus can be also detected in water, food, and environmental specimens. If food or water is the suspected cause of a norovirus outbreak, samples should be collected as soon as possible. Swabs may be taken if applicable. Food samples that can be tested for norovirus are shellfish, leafy salads and soft berries. Contact for information.