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Surveillance of norovirus among children with diarrhea in four major hospitals in Bhutan: Replacement of GII.21 by GII.3 as a dominant genotype

Diarrhea is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among Bhutanese children. The etiology of diarrhea is not well known due to the challenges of conducting routine surveillance with Bhutan’s modest research facilities. Establishing an etiology is crucial toward generating evidence that will contribute to policy discussions on a diarrheal disease control program. Our previous study, during 2010±2012, revealed that norovirus (NoV) is an important cause of diarrhea among Bhutanese children, and that GII.21 was the major genotype circulating at that time. In other countries, GII.4 is the major genotype responsible for NoV infections. In this update report, we provide new prevalence data to describe the progression of the transformation and distribution of the NoV genotype among Bhutanese children.