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 February 28, 2015 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 February 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Drinks for Your Health

The Best Drinks for Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) When it comes to health and fitness, there&apos;s lots of talk about what foods to eat, but there are a few liquids that can promote good nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the healthiest drinks to boost your health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) From sweet cherries to sugar snap peas, spring is the peak season for some of the tastiest and healthiest produce. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best seasonal fruits and veggies to spring in to good health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
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