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New vaccine candidate shows strong potential to prevent highly contagious norovirus
Date:3/15/2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio Scientists have shown that an experimental vaccine against the human norovirus the bug behind about 90 percent of highly contagious nonbacterial illnesses that cause diarrhea and vomiting can generate a strong immune response in mice without appearing to cause the animals any harm.

Using a novel viral vector-based method to grow and deliver the vaccine that has shown promise in other agents designed to fight such infections as HIV and hepatitis C, the researchers are the first to test this vaccine design method's effectiveness against the human norovirus.

Animals receiving the vaccine developed high levels of antibodies, a robust white blood cell response and an additional immune response in the area of the body most affected by this particular infection the gastrointestinal system.

The researchers say this study supports the use of viral vector-based techniques as a new way to develop vaccines for human norovirus and other viruses that cannot grow in cell cultures. It also suggests that these Ohio State University scientists could be well on their way to developing a safe vaccine against a highly problematic pathogen that causes millions of gastrointestinal illnesses every year in the United States.

"The mice in our study developed a much higher antibody response to our vaccine candidate than they did to a more traditional vaccine. That's one of the keys, to have a sustained antibody response, so that when the disease comes along, you can neutralize the virus and protect yourself," said Jianrong Li, assistant professor of food science and technology at Ohio State and senior author of the study.

Li co-authored the study with Yuanmei Ma, a graduate student in food science and technology. The research appears in the current issue of the Journal of Virology.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis characte
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Contact: Jianrong Li
li.926@osu.edu
614-688-5728
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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