ASM Logo Already known to help detect cancer, nanoparticles seem to be beneficial for restricting stomach flu too. Scientists from the from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center assert that a vaccine strategy employing nanoparticles as carriers can help fight norovirus. Believed to be a common cause of foodborne diseases, norovirus is highly transmissible and particularly triggers stomach flu.

During the research, rotavirus antigen was inserted into the novel nanocarrier called P particle, which supposedly improved immune response to rotavirus and norovirus in mice. It was mentioned that both rotavirus and norovirus seem to be vital causes of acute gastroenteritis. The dual vaccine can probably help control gastroenteritis in children. The P particle, apparently a scaffold contains 24 copies of an outer coat protein from norovirus.

This nanocarrier has three types of surface loops which may present a wide variety of antigens. In addition to being highly immunogenic and extremely stable, the P particle appears extremely helpful in tackling rotavirus and norovirus. Xi Jason Jiang of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, lead investigator and colleagues believe that the research findings can help reduce the number of children affected by the deadly gastroenteritis.

The research is published in the January 2011 issue of the Journal of Virology.