INDIA: The term “norovirus” refers to a group of viruses that produce severe vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach discomfort. Additionally, recent studies utilizing a mouse model have shown that norovirus can infect salivary glands and spread via saliva. The illness is well-known because it frequently affects cruise ships and spreads quickly.
Food and drink tainted with the virus and surfaces contaminated with the virus and subsequently touched by others who feel their faces are all known to be sources of norovirus transmission.
The disease, which affects billions of people worldwide, now has a new method of transmission. The study suggests that these viruses are disseminated through chatting, coughing, sneezing, and sharing utensils; however, humans need to verify this.
The results have been published in Nature and may potentially aid in reducing norovirus transmission with improved mitigation measures.
It had been presumed that these ‘enteric viruses’ entered the body, travelled to the intestines, infected the cells, and contaminated the excrement. Any infected faeces that later made their way into food or onto a surface were thought to make people sicker. But scientists have questioned if there are any other ways this extremely contagious disease is disseminated. The examination of that notion has since revealed that the viruses most likely have another transmission route.
There are several routes and ways that are significantly more common than faecal contamination, the researchers stated. If the results are true for people, they will help explain why there are so many enteric virus infections.
In this study, the researchers gave newborn mice rotavirus or norovirus exposure before giving the pups back to their unaffected mothers. The mouse pups began to exhibit symptoms of infection after just one day, and their levels of an immune protein called IgA antibodies rose. The immunological activity startled the researchers because it was previously believed that mice younger than ten days old were incapable of producing their own antibodies.
But later, scientists discovered that the viruses also existed in the mother mice’s breast tissue. IgA antibodies were being produced by the mothers and released into the mouse pups’ breast milk. In the end, the IgA from the mothers helped the pups get rid of the infection.
According to further research, the viruses in the mouse mother’s breast tissue were not caused by infected faeces. Researchers examined saliva and salivary glands and discovered that the glands contained high levels of virus, which released significant amounts of virus into the saliva. The virus was proven to be transmitted from mother to pup and pup to mother.
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