With the number of norovirus infection cases rising across the country, scientists from the University of Southampton have successfully crystallised a key norovirus enzyme, which could help in the development of a norovirus treatment.
Noroviruses are recognised world-wide as the most important cause of epidemic nonbacterial gastroenteritis (stomach bugs) and pose a significant public health burden, with an estimated one million cases per year in the UK. In the past, noroviruses have also been called 'winter vomiting viruses'.
By crystallising the key protease enzyme, the research team from the University has been able to design an inhibitor that interacts with the enzyme from the 'Southampton' norovirus. The inhibitor works by preventing the enzyme in the norovirus from working, stopping the spread of infection.
The research team hopes to translate their laboratory findings into an antiviral treatment for norovirus infection.
Full article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201084024.htm