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Virginia Tech researchers testing potential vaccine for norovirus

Virginia Tech researchers are testing a potential live oral vaccine for norovirus. The vaccine that the team is testing is in development by Indiana University researchers and uses the Rotarix rotavirus vaccine as a platform.

Norovirus is really a contagious virus that triggers vomiting and diarrhea. Based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, every year, on average in the usa, norovirus causes 900 deaths, 109,000 hospitalizations, 465,000 emergency department visits and 19 to 21 million cases of vomiting and diarrhea illnesses.

You hear about norovirus outbreaks on the news headlines at all times in hospitals, assisted living facilities, and cruise lines and how its closing down restaurants, so its got plenty of economic implications, said Lijuan Yuan, professor of virology and immunology at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech, who’s leading the testing of the vaccine.

Yuans lab plans to judge the replication capacity, immunogenicity, and protective efficacy of the vaccine. They’ll be using gnotobiotic pig types of human rotavirus and norovirus infection and diarrhea.

We shall work with a gnotobiotic pig style of human norovirus infection and diarrhea. Its actually the only real laboratory animal model available that develops norovirus gastroenteritis which are similar to everything you see in humans, said Yuan.

Within their coverage of Yuans research, VTx news explains a gnotobiotic animal is one which has been specially raised to contain zero germs or bacteria so researchers can better study the consequences of bacteria and viruses such as for example rotavirus and norovirus.

Unlike a great many other viruses, norovirus can’t be cultivated efficiently in cell cultures. An extra challenge is testing vaccines with animal models. For instance, mice get murine noroviruses, which usually do not cause exactly the same disease as noroviruses in humans.

The pig model is really a unique one, as you can find less than 10 gnotobiotic pig facilities in the united kingdom.

Yuan and her lab study gnotobiotic pig types of human intestinal virus infection and disease, including how probiotics affect immunity and the evaluation of rotavirus and norovirus vaccines and anti-norovirus biologicals.

The pig style of norovirus will test a vaccine which has the chance of helping thousands of people.

For more on Yuans research, read Sarah Boudreaus story on VTx news site.

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