Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chink Found In Armor Of Viral 'Tummy Bug'

Date:
December 28, 2008
Source:
Griffith University
Summary:
Researchers have moved a step closer to identifying a broad spectrum treatment for the dreaded 'viral tummy bug' or rotavirus.

Researchers at Griffith University's Institute for Glycomics in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Melbourne have moved a step closer to identifying a broad spectrum treatment for the dreaded 'viral tummy bug' or rotavirus.

Related Articles


These highly-infectious viruses are the leading cause of severe diarrhoea in young children, responsible for thousands of hospitalisations in the developed world, and hundreds of thousands of deaths each year in developing countries.

Institute Executive Director Professor Mark von Itzstein said research findings published in the world-leading Chemical Biology journal Nature Chemical Biology this week demanded a total rethink of how these viruses work.

"Rotaviruses are thought to infect the bodies by sticking to certain types of sugars called sialic acids on the surface of our stomach cells. They then enter cells and reproduce rapidly, causing illness," he said.

"Rotavirus vaccines are still in their infancy, as problems emerged with the first vaccine that was trialled a number of years ago. While other vaccines are now in clinical use, new directions are required in the development of potential drugs to prevent or treat this deadly virus."

He said that to better understand how carbohydrates are involved in rotavirus infection, researchers had focussed on treating mammalian cells with a protein called sialidase which cuts these surface sugars so the virus cannot attach.

Previous to his group's work most scientists believed only some of the many strains of rotavirus infection could be prevented with sialidase treatment while others were apparently immune to its effects.

This led to the conclusion that some viruses depend on sialic acid to infect the body while others were thought to cause infection independent of sialic acid.

"Unsuccessful attempts to reduce rotavirus infection with this treatment led scientists to group rotaviruses into two classes: 'sialidase-sensitive' and 'sialidase-insensitive' strains," he said.

The team used nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, 3D modelling and cell-based assays to observe the interaction between the virus and host cells.

"We found that a human strain previously through insensitive to sialidase does in fact recognise and bind to sialic acid, but it is a sialic acid not accessible to sialidase treatment." Professor von Itzstein said.

"This reveals that there is a common chink in the armour of these rotaviruses.

"This discovery is the first step in designing a broad-spectrum drug able to exploit this weakness to combat many types of human and animal rotaviruses."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Griffith University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Griffith University. "Chink Found In Armor Of Viral 'Tummy Bug'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081223091328.htm>.
Griffith University. (2008, December 28). Chink Found In Armor Of Viral 'Tummy Bug'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081223091328.htm
Griffith University. "Chink Found In Armor Of Viral 'Tummy Bug'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081223091328.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins