Tuesday, March 17, 2015

New tool for detecting, destroying norovirus

News Brief by Frederick Lu

     A research team led by Dr. Grant Hansman of the German Cancer Research Center has discovered nano-85, which is a “nano body,” or a smaller and more stable antibody, that can bind to norovirus-like particles (VLPs) and potentially break the virus apart. Because noroviruses undergo constant evolution and are difficult to develop therapies for, nano-85’s ability to recognize many different VLPs from different strains of virus make it a promising candidate as a diagnostic tool. Researchers found that nano-85 was able to detect the virus in 1/3 of the stool samples it was tested on and are hopeful that it may become an aid in diagnosis after further development.
    Additionally, while examining the interaction between nano-85 and a specific part of VLP known as the protruding (P) domain, which is akin to a flexible spike, Hansman was unable to find an intact VLP, leading him to believe that nano-85 was causing the VLPs to break apart.
   Norovirus infections are generally only treated by rehydration of the patient. If Hansman is correct in saying that nano-85 is responsible for viral disassembly, then this could result in many new leads for antiviral therapy.

German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ). "New tool for detecting, destroying norovirus." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2015. .

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