Grape seed extract bollixes norovirus

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

Malaysia: Norovirus discovered in lettuce

date Sep 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.

NBA players not immune to serious illness from norovirus

date Oct 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 st ...

Recommended for you

Cancer drug shows promise as cure for hepatitis B

date 6 hours ago

Australian scientists have found a potential cure for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections, with a promising new treatment proving 100 per cent successful in eliminating the infection in preclinical models.

One test for all infections

date 8 hours ago

If you're returning from abroad with a fever, your doctor will likely test you for malaria. You'll give multiple blood samples at the lab, and if the results are inconclusive, you'll face yet another round of tests.

User 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.