A new patent for checking antibody of norovirus is drawing attention, as there is no specific medicine to treat people with norovirus infection or prevent it.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the Kangwon National University-Industry Cooperation Foundation received the grant for its application of the patent on “Norovirus-specific antibody and its usage” on Monday.
|A partial image of the patent drawings (KIPO)
The patented antibody is a monoclonal one, selected from the group comprising of polypeptide sequences. The antibody includes particular polypeptide sequences.
The study came out of the government’s research and development program, with the support of the National Research Foundation of Korea and the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology. Researchers hoped that the patent could help doctors detect norovirus and diagnose norovirus infection more easily.
There is no cure for norovirus infection or vaccine to prevent the disease. Infected people naturally recover within a few days in most cases. In the case of severe dehydration, a hospital doctor administers IV fluids. For severe abdominal pain, physicians use a sedative.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIS)’s clinicaltrials.gov, scores of clinical trials are underway to study norovirus.
In Korea, the virus drew attention as the number of the virus infections surged before and after the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games.
According to the researchers, more than 20 genotypes have been discovered concerning norovirus.
Among them, strain GII.4 involved 80 percent of the total norovirus infections, which makes it advantageous for antibody discovery as a target antigen. Norovirus’ genetic-groups are classified into five – GI, GII, GIII, GIV, and GV.
“Antibodies optimized in this invention will be significantly helpful in detecting and diagnosing norovirus at the protein level in the future,” the researchers said.
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