A Journal of Postdoctoral Research.
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A Model Method for Studying Norovirus
Laura A. Adamson-Small
University of Florida
Department of Pediatrics, UFL, Gainesville, FL 32601, USA
Norovirus is an extremely contagious positive sense RNA virus responsible for gastroenteritis. It has gained media attention due to its presence and impact on food and drinking water, and in the cruise ship industry. Researchers studying Norovirus have faced many challenges in their field with a limited number of reagents available for detecting the virus and growing it in culture, and no dependable small animal model. This research highlight focuses on the work of Taube et al. in the development of a mouse model for human Norovirus. This study used BALB/c mice deficient in recombination-activating genes 1 and 2 (Rag) and common gamma chain (Yc) to demonstrate infection and replication of human Norovirus within the mice macrophages of the liver and spleen. They further showed the presence of human immune cells was not necessary to establish infection, but that the background strain of the mouse determined susceptibility. This discovery provides a huge step forward for basic and clinical applications of Norovirus research.

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