Category Archives: Norovirus

Research – Norovirus interactions with the commensal microbiota


Food Borne Illness - Norovirus -CDC Photo

Human norovirus (HNoV) is the leading cause of epidemic nonbacterial gastroenteritis worldwide, causing an acute diarrheal infection and occasionally chronic infection in immunocompromised individuals. Mouse and tissue culture models utilizing murine norovirus (MNoV) have allowed for interrogation of viral mechanisms of infection and pathogenesis. Here, we outline the interactions between the commensal microbiota of the intestine and norovirus and their implications

USA -Norovirus sickens dozens in Transylvania County

Outbreak News Today  



Transylvania Public Health Enter a caption

Transylvania Public Health has received more than 70 cases of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea reported by medical providers, as well as phone calls reporting similar symptoms in more than 200 people since Tuesday, July 31.

Officials have received confirmatory laboratory tests from the N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health. Of those people who were tested by their medical providers, a majority were positive for norovirus.

It is believed the outbreak was caused by being exposed to a highly-contagious virus in a public place. While health officials have not pinpointed a source,  local media report the McDonald’s in Brevard reopened Friday after closing voluntarily to deep clean the restaurant in the middle of the food illness outbreak.


Research -Molecules from breast milk and seaweed suggest strategies for controlling norovirus

Science Daily Norovirus Food Safety kswfoodworld

Norovirus is the most common cause of gastroenteritis worldwide; it causes tens hundreds of thousands of deaths each year and is particularly risky for children under 3 years old. If someone gets norovirus in a setting like a hospital, it’s critically important to find a way to protect others from getting infected. New research from several universities in Germany, to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, suggests that it may be easier than anticipated to find a compound that could be used as a food supplement to stop the spread of norovirus in children’s hospitals.

Norovirus causes disease after entering cells in the gut by binding to a sugar molecule called fucose, which is found on cell surfaces as part of the structure that determines human ABO blood types. Fucose is also found in breast milk and other foods. Norovirus can’t tell the difference between fucoses that are part of cells in the gut and those that are simply passing through; for this reason, adding a fucose-based supplement to the diet as a decoy could be a way to capture the virus and keep it from infecting cells.

To develop this strategy, however, researchers needed to understand which features of fucose and virus molecules affected how well they attached to each other. In cells, foods, and milk, fucose is rarely found as a single molecule; rather, it’s part of chains or networks of sugars and proteins. Franz-Georg Hanisch, a researcher at the University of Cologne, led a project to disentangle these molecular elements and understand what kind of fucose-based product would best distract noroviruses. He started by screening the many types of fucose-containing human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs).

To Hanisch’s surprise, the strength of the binding between the norovirus protein and HMOs did not depend much on the specific structure of the HMO, or the types of fucose molecules it contained. Rather, what mattered was only how many fucoses it contained. Each individual fucose stuck weakly to the virus protein, but the more fucoses there were in the compound, the better the compound and the viral protein stuck together.

“The binding of the virus is not dependent in any way on further structural elements (of HMOs),” Hanisch said. “It’s only the terminal fucose which is recognized, and the more fucose at higher densities is presented, the better is the binding.”

Hanisch then turned to the industry standard of where to get a lot of fucose fast. Brown algae — the same family of seaweed that includes kelp — produce a compound called fucoidan, which is a complex network of many fucoses. (Fucoidan has independently been explored as a treatment for HIV, CMV, and HSV for unrelated biochemical reasons.)

“There are procedures for isolating the stuff in quite high yields and in high purity,” Hanisch said.

The organization of the fucose in fucoidans looks nothing like any fucose-containing molecules found in the human body, but fucoidan nevertheless tightly bound to the virus protein in the team’s experiments. This is good news, because it means that fucoidan could be a safe and cheap food additive to block viruses from infecting cells. It also suggests that the sky is the limit for researchers to design an even better fucose-containing compound.

Hanisch and his collaborators are therefore now moving on to experiments with live viruses and live organisms. The hope is to eventually have a fucose-based food supplement that could be given to a group of people, like hospitalized children, at the first sign of a norovirus outbreak, to prevent the circulating viruses from entering their cells and causing disease.

“I hope that in about three years we will have a product which can be used in norovirus defense and to go into clinical studies,” Hanisch said.

Story Source:

Materials provided by American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Franz-Georg Hanisch, Grant S. Hansman, Vasily Morozov, Clemens Kunz, Horst Schroten. Avidity of α-fucose on human milk oligosaccharides and blood group–unrelated oligo/polyfucoses is essential for potent norovirus-binding targets. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2018; 293 (30): 11955 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA117.001369

RASFF Alerts – Norovirus – Frozen Sour Cherries – Live Oysters – Frozen Redcurrents

kswfoodworld food safety poisoning

RASFF-norovirus (presence /25g) in frozen sour cherries from Poland in the Netherlands

RASFF -norovirus (GI/ 0.025 g) in live oysters (Cassostrea Gigas) from France in Italy

RASFF -norovirus (presence /25g) in frozen red currents from Poland in Belgium

RASFF Aletrt – Norovirus – Live Oysters

kswfoodworld food safety poisoning

RASFF -norovirus (GI /2g) in live oysters (Crassostrea gigas) from France in Italy

USA – Norovirus at beach sickened 97



Food Borne Illness - Norovirus -CDC Photo

Image CDC Enter a caption

BRIDGTON, Maine.(WABI) – Maine state scientists say the highly contagious norovirus sickened nearly 100 people who swam at Woods Pond Beach or had contact with someone who did.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said it found 97 people associated with the outbreak.

Those individuals reported experiencing a few days of symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever and cramps.

The town of Bridgton closed the beach from July 6 through July 10.

The town plans to remove beach bathroom sinks following concerns over E. coli levels.

Bridgton Town Manager Bob Peabody said those who are sick shouldn’t go to the beach.

China – Norovirus outbreak at Shanghai university

Outbreak News Today Norwalk_Caspid

Health officials in Yangpu District, Shanghai are reporting a norovirus outbreak that sickened some forty students at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, according to a local media report.

Norovirus was confirmed by laboratory testing in both vomit and feces samples.

The university said it has disinfected all canteens, classrooms, dormitories and other public spaces, and also banned takeaway food being delivered to its campus.

It additionally enhanced monitoring of canteen operations and water supplies on campus.