Grape seed extract bollixes norovirus

November 9, 2012

Norovirus causes more than half of all food-born illnesses in the United States, and is the second greatest source of reported food borne illness outbreaks in the European Union. A recent study found that grape seed extract could reduce the infectivity of Norovirus surrogates (Norovirus surrogates are viruses that share pathological and/or biological features with human norovirus). Now, Dan Li of Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium and collaborators have shown that grape seed extract does so by denaturing the capsid protein, which is the coat of the virus, thereby disabling the virus. The research is published in the November 2012 issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

In the study, the researchers observed that under treatment with grape seed extract, at low doses, the spherically-shaped murine (mouse) norovirus-1 coat proteins clumped, and showed "obvious deformation and inflation," according to the report. At higher doses, the researchers saw no coat proteins, only protein debris. "This provides evidence that [grape seed extract] could effectively damage the [norovirus] , which could reduce viral binding ability and infectivity accordingly," according to the report.

The researchers used surrogate viruses because there are no suitable animal models of norovirus, and human norovirus has been impossible to propagate in . The surrogate virus, murine norovirus-1, can be grown in cell culture, and belongs to the same genus as human norovirus, and has a very similar genome structure, and morphology. Nonetheless, the researchers were able to measure the specific of human norovirus by two different methods, finding that it declined precipitously under the influence of , providing further support to their results.

Norovirus is transmitted mainly fecal-orally, and infected food handlers, contaminated water, and surfaces can be identified as important sources of transmission, "which could further contaminate ready-to-eat foods, drinking water, shellfish, and fresh produce," says Li. A mere 10-100 virus particles are sufficient to transmit the disease.

More information: D. Li, L. Baert, D. Zhang, M. Xia, W. Zhong, E. Van Coillie, X. Jiang, and M. Uyttendaele, 2012. Effect of grape seed extract on human norovirus GII.4 and murine norovirus 1 in viral suspensions, on stainless steel discs, and in lettuce wash water. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 78:7572-7578.

Related Stories

NBA players not immune to serious illness from norovirus

October 31, 2011

A new study describes a 2010 outbreak involving several NBA teams, the first known report of a norovirus outbreak in a professional sports association. Published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available online, the study ...

Deaths from gastroenteritis doubles

March 14, 2012

The number of people who died from gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines that causes vomiting and diarrhea) more than doubled from 1999 to 2007. The findings of this study will be presented today at ...

Malaysia: Norovirus discovered in lettuce

September 13, 2012

University Teknologi MARA researchers conducted a study on Norovirus (NoV) in lettuces. The virus causes outbreaks of Gastroenteritis among children below age 5 in Malaysia.

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.