Scientists discover that stomach viruses are more powerful in groups

A project initiated in 2015 and led by Dr. Nihal Altan-Bonnet of the National Institutes of Health, which initially analyzed the use of poliovirus to fight brain tumors, found that norovirus and rotavirus are more powerful when grouped

A project initiated in 2015 and led by Dr. Nihal Altan-Bonnet of the National Institutes of Health, which initially analyzed the use of poliovirus to fight brain tumors, found that norovirus and rotavirus are more powerful when grouped

A project initiated in 2015 and led by Dr. Nihal Altan-Bonnet of the National Institutes of Health, which initially analyzed the use of poliovirus to fight brain tumors, found that norovirus and rotavirus are more powerful when grouped

Scientists have discovered that certain stomach viruses are more powerful when grouped together than when they exist as individual particles.

A project led by Dr. Nihal Altan-Bonnet of the National Institutes of Health can be credited with this new revelation about the spread and potency of norovirus and rotavirus.

The research focuses on the norovirus and rotavirus groups, which are known to cause gastrointestinal diseases, specifically when they are ingested in contaminated food or on cruises and other places where people are held for prolonged periods.

These viruses usually enter the body through the "oral-fecal" route, which means that we accidentally ingest feces by mouth, which can occur in many ways.

Some of these ways include drinking contaminated water or putting our fingers in or near the mouth after touching contaminated door knobs or other surfaces.

It was published on Wednesday in the research journal Cell Host & Microbe.

These viruses usually enter the body through the "oral-fecal" route, which means that we accidentally ingest feces by mouth, which can occur in many ways.

These viruses usually enter the body through the "oral-fecal" route, which means that we accidentally ingest feces by mouth, which can occur in many ways.

These viruses usually enter the body through the "oral-fecal" route, which means that we accidentally ingest feces by mouth, which can occur in many ways.

When norovirus and rotavirus enter our bodies, they can cause severe stomach diseases that are difficult to cure, from nausea and vomiting to severe cases of diarrhea.

In some cases, those who are more vulnerable, such as young children and the elderly, may even die from these infections.

This can happen when they attack our bodies as individual viruses, and now, we have learned that they are likely to get worse when those particles come together as vesicles.

It turns out that the vesicles, which is the term for the multiple particles of a virus that have clumped together and formed a kind of surrounding membrane envelope, can not only hit our body harder, but are also harder to detect for our body.

"These viruses are in stealth mode," Altan-Bonnet told NPR.

Since they are hidden under the membrane, a vesicle is more likely to pass through our systems, without being detected by our immune system, until the viruses inside the vesicle are ready to attack.

"By being together, they infect an intestinal cell with a very high number at the same time," explains Altan-Bonnet. & # 39; Several viruses enter within that same cell & # 39;

Here is a stock image of a norovirus particle, for which there is no vaccine at this time

Here is a stock image of a norovirus particle, for which there is no vaccine at this time

Here is a stock image of a norovirus particle, for which there is no vaccine at this time

The rotavirus cells are shown here in fluid; The vaccine for this virus must be administered before 15 weeks of age to be effective in preventing diseases caused by infection with this virus.

The rotavirus cells are shown here in fluid; The vaccine for this virus must be administered before 15 weeks of age to be effective in preventing diseases caused by infection with this virus.

The rotavirus cells are shown here in fluid; The vaccine for this virus must be administered before 15 weeks of age to be effective in preventing diseases caused by infection with this virus.

Previously, it was thought that the most numerous and free individual particles could have a greater impact on a person and be more contagious, simply due to more points of contact.

Instead, as a group, "they cooperate and compensate for the inadequacies of others," Altan-Bonnet said.

While there is currently no vaccine for norovirus, there is one for rotavirus. However, even that must be administered before 15 weeks of age to be effective.

This limitation is basically useless in areas where access to medical care is limited, which are the same areas where contaminated drinking water and other conditions can lead to more cases of virus and where the vaccine would be more necessary.

But this new research can help expand the way doctors can treat and possibly prevent these two common viral infections.

"This research will lead to the development of different types of antiviral drugs, which target clusters differently," said Altan-Bonnet.

& # 39; One way to do it is by pointing to the membranes & # 39;

The NIH researchers then hope to extend this project to observe more viruses, whether they behave similarly in groups, and how our bodies react to them in groups compared to free-field particles.

It has also been confirmed that the common cold (rhinovirus) can be transmitted in groups, but researchers are now analyzing whether that virus, as well as the flu, can be transmitted to humans in the form of vesicles.

"My prediction is yes," said Altan-Bonnet. "Now it makes a lot of sense to think that viruses want to be transported together in large quantities."

The initial purpose of Altan-Bonnets for this research, which began in 2015, was to analyze the use of poliovirus to fight brain tumors.

She also hopes to apply these findings to advance that research, and potentially experiment with polio groups to better attack tumors.

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