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Cultivation of Human Noroviruses

Human small intestinal enteroid cultures mimic the environment of natural infection which would support HuNoV growth

Published: 11th October 2022
Cultivation of Human Noroviruses


The human norovirus, or HuNoV, was first visualized using immune electron microscopy in 1972. Technology has since evolved, and HuNov has been characterized and identified as a member of the Caliciviridae family. Its epidemiology is better understood and is known today as the leading cause of acute, food-borne gastroenteritis. However, modern technology still fails to recreate HuNov through in vitro cultivation. This has created a significant barrier in regards to studying HuNov and its behavior.

Technology Overview

Recent research at Baylor College of Medicine has successfully designed a new cultivation system ex vivo in human small intestinal enteroid cultures. This new system works by mimicking the environment of natural infection which would support HuNoV growth. This primary replication system has led to the successful collection of 2 HuNov genotypes comprising 8 strains of the virus. Not only does this research overcome previous barriers, but it has also proven to be highly reproducible. This technology has many potential implications for future research and possible clinical developments through analysis of HuNov and its behavior.

Stage of Development

Data available for in vitro cultivation system of human intestinal enteroid culture derived from stem cells. This has been tested specifically on monolayers of J2 human intestinal enteroids, which were exposed to HuNoV GII.4 virus-containing stool filtrates. Lab detection methods were performed to find norovirus structural and nonstructural proteins in GII.4-infected human intestinal enteroids.


This new cultivation system for the human norovirus allows opportunity for multiple innovations in public health, including but not limited to:

  1. The testing of inactivation methods and sanitizers to reduce transmission by inactivating these viruses
  2. Testing of food and other environmental surfaces or vehicles to determine whether the infectious virus is present
  3. Determination of whether antibodies induced by natural infection or vaccination correlate with protection from infection or disease following a subsequent exposure to infectious virus
  4. Viral serotype identification
  5. Development of live, attenuated or inactivated vaccines
  6. Development of improved diagnostic assays
  7. Evaluation of antiviral therapies
  8. Discovery of neutralizing epitopes on virus particles that can be used to make new vaccines or improve current vaccines and understand virus evolution
  9. Discovery and elucidation of the molecular mechanisms that regulate virus replication, which could be targets for preventative drug treatment.


Seeking exclusive license partnerships

  • US Patent Nos. 10,787,646 and 11,396,645
  • EP Patent Application 16852845.3 Pending
IP Status
  • Patent application submitted
  • Licensing