Objectives: Little is known about asymptomatic norovirus infection and its risk factors in healthy adults. This study investigated detection of norovirus in stool and its associated factors among asymptomatic healthy adults in a high-income country. Methods: This prospective cross-sectional study—conducted between February 2016 and January 2017 at a teaching hospital in Japan—included apparently healthy adults aged ≥18 years who underwent voluntary health check-ups. Our primary outcome was detection of norovirus in stool specimens confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. We evaluated descriptive statistics and associated factors, including demographics, social habits, and clinical parameters. Results: Among 15 532 participants, 4536 (29.2%, mean age 58.0 (standard deviation 11.8) years, male 44.6%) were enrolled, and 112 (2.5%, GI 57, GII 54, GI + GII 1) were norovirus-positive. Monthly prevalence rates of the GI norovirus were consistent throughout the year, while those of GII were high in May. Participants aged <40 and ≥ 80 years had higher rates of GII norovirus detection. Participants who occasionally consume alcohol, especially wine (odds ratio (OR) 0.17, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.04–0.68), had lower norovirus detection rates than abstainers. Participants with untreated dyslipidaemia and a low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level had higher detection rates than those with treated dyslipidaemia (OR 1.48, 95%CI 1.07–2.05) and a normal HDL cholesterol level (OR 2.60, 95%CI 1.46–4.61). Some gastrointestinal and female genital diseases were associated with norovirus detection. Conclusions: The norovirus detection rate in asymptomatic adults was 2.5%. Participants with specific lifestyles or medical histories may have higher risks of asymptomatic norovirus infection.
- Asymptomatic infection
- Large-scale survey