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Research project

Norovirus Attribution Study

Assessing the contribution made by the food chain to the burden of UK-acquired norovirus infection

Last updated: 19 February 2020
Last updated: 19 February 2020

The five-year Norovirus Attribution Study (NoVAS) launched in 2014 and was funded by the FSA at the cost of £2.5 million, in an effort to improve our understanding of the contribution food makes to the transmission of norovirus in the UK – as opposed to person-to-person – and how that might impact on overall rates of illness related to food.

A team of researchers from across the UK, led by Professor Sarah O’Brien, conducted for the first time a series of retail surveys in oysters, lettuce and raspberries (selected based on existing evidence which identified them as the most significant risk), as well as samples from catering and takeaway preparation areas.

These tests were combined with existing data on outbreaks to feed a new predictive model for the prevalence of foodborne norovirus.