Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study lays groundwork for norovirus anti-viral treatments

Date:
July 22, 2013
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
There's no vaccine to prevent norovirus, or drugs to treat the pesky virus that sickens millions each year and is known to complicate cruise ship vacations. But a first ever small animal model provides a new tool to develop anti-viral treatments.

An animal model of the human norovirus created at the University of Michigan Health System lays the groundwork for understanding the biology of the pesky virus and developing antiviral drug treatment.

Well-known as the virus that impacts cruise ship vacations, norovirus leads to misery on land too. The virus spreads quickly from person to person in any closed-in space, such as schools, nursing homes, or day-care centers.

"The first virus in this group was discovered in 1972 following a disease outbreak at a school in Norwalk, Ohio in 1968. Since then research has been underway to culture noroviruses in the laboratory and develop animal models," says lead researcher Christiane Wobus, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

An international group of scientists from the U.S. and Germany authored the study published in mBIO, a journal of the American Society of Microbiology.

"Norovirus research has been hampered by the absence of a norovirus cell culture and a genetically manipulable small animal model," Wobus says. "This new model gives us the tool to test potential antiviral compounds and may lay the foundation to culture these viruses in the lab."

The new model was developed by determining whether human noroviruses can infect "humanized" mice, that is mice containing human immune cells. These mice are widely used for study of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a virus which can only infect human cells.

The study identified macrophages, a vital immune cell in the body, as the cell type infected by the virus.

Very few particles of the virus can lead to infection. Estimates are as few as 18 particles can cause gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines) and lead to diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. In the U.S. norovirus causes approximately 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis a year, and 800 deaths.

"Most people can cope with the symptoms, but deaths are more likely among the elderly mainly because of dehydration," Wobus says.

Only the common cold is more widespread than the norovirus, which can remain on surfaces for weeks, ready to cause more infections. Because it lacks a lipid envelope, norovirus is not susceptible to common disinfectants and alcohol-based sanitizers.

The economic impact of these infections is staggering with an economic cost for norovirus associated food-borne outbreaks alone of $5.8 billion in the U.S.

There is no vaccine for preventing norovirus infection and no drug to treat it. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers some tips for prevention, including handwashing with soap and water, washing fruits and vegetables properly and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and if you are sick not preparing food or caring for others.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Taube, A. O. Kolawole, M. Hohne, J. E. Wilkinson, S. A. Handley, J. W. Perry, L. B. Thackray, R. Akkina, C. E. Wobus. A Mouse Model for Human Norovirus. mBio, 2013; 4 (4): e00450-13 DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00450-13

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Study lays groundwork for norovirus anti-viral treatments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722111414.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2013, July 22). Study lays groundwork for norovirus anti-viral treatments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722111414.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Study lays groundwork for norovirus anti-viral treatments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722111414.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. 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:
from the past week

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