Monoclonal antibody effective against norovirus

Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provide the first proof of concept data showing that a monoclonal antibody can neutralize human norovirus. This research, which could one day lead to effective therapies against the virus, was published online ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.

"We initiated this work because there is presently no virus-specific treatment or vaccine to control the norovirus illness," says Kim Y. Green, a researcher on the study. "Our working hypothesis was that a highly specific norovirus antibody that binds to the outer surface of the virus particle might prevent the ability of the virus to infect susceptible host cells."

The team first isolated genes from chimpanzee encoding norovirus-specific antibodies. They then converted these into human-compatible full-length immunoglobulin molecules. They successfully tested two of the antibodies against norovirus infection in chimpanzees.

"An effective therapeutic antibody might be explored as both a treatment for norovirus gastroenteritis, and as a disease prevention strategy," says Green. "Consider a developing outbreak scenario in which food-handlers, healthcare workers, deployed military, or travelers could reduce risk of infection, incapacitation, and spread if a safe and inexpensive treatment is immediately available."

Norovirus causes roughly 20 million cases of and vomiting annually in the US, alone, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While in most people, symptoms last a day or two, for those with impaired immune systems, and the young and the aged, norovirus can be life-threatening. It is responsible for an estimated 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths annually, and roughly one in 15 Americans get the disease every year. It is unusually contagious, via the fecal-oral route. People who have had norovirus remain highly contagious for at least three days after symptoms abate.

More information: J. Virol. doi:10.1128/JVI.01376-13

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Deaths from gastroenteritis doubles

Mar 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 ...

Research shows copper destroys norovirus

May 28, 2013

New research from the University of Southampton shows that copper and copper alloys will rapidly destroy norovirus - the highly-infectious sickness bug. The virus can be contracted from contaminated food ...

Grape seed extract bollixes norovirus

Nov 09, 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 ...

Recommended for you

Ebola expert calls for European anti-virus 'corps'

10 hours ago

Europe will be "vulnerable" if it does not regard viruses as a "national security issue" like the United States, the microbiologist who discovered Ebola said in an interview published Friday.

In Liberia, Ebola steals Christmas

10 hours ago

The Ebola epidemic has cast a dark shadow over Christmas this year in Liberia, where small businesses are especially feeling the pinch.

Firm recalls caramel apples amid listeria fears

Dec 25, 2014

A Missouri firm is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples because of the potential that they could be contaminated with listeria. The recall comes after at least three deaths and at least 29 illnesses in 10 states ...

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.