NoroCORE collaborators Dr. Charles Arntzen and Dr. Chris Diehnelt at Arizona State University focus on efforts in the Detection Core, developing novel detection technologies for producing high-affinity, high-specificity protein binding ligands, called synbodies, in the context of efforts to improve detection of human noroviruses.
NoroCORE Executive Board members Dr. Mary Estes and Dr. Robert Atmar at Baylor College of Medicine are leaders in the Molecular Virology and Detection Cores, respectively. Dr. Estes’ current research efforts in the Molecular Core include attempts to cultivate human noroviruses in vitro using novel culture methods and characterizing of factors and conditions involved in successful infection. Dr. Atmar’s focus in the Detection Core is on development of simple, practical, broadly reactive methods to detect human norovirus in sample matrices, specifically, the development and use of novel ligands. This team also develops, characterizes, and utilizes human norovirus-like particles.
Executive Board members Dr. Jan Vinjé and Dr. Aron Hall at the CDC are leaders in the Molecular Virology, and Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Cores. Dr. Jan Vinje’s research efforts in the Molecular Virology area focus on identifying and evaluating alternative cultivable human norovirus surrogates, improving our understanding of the role of viruses in foodborne disease of unknown cause, and developing models that predict human norovirus strain evolution and emergence. Dr. Aron Hall’s efforts in Epidemiology include characterization of the endemic and epidemic norovirus burden and the development of epidemiological attribution models.
Collaborator Dr. Jason (Xi) Jiang of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital works on evaluating alternative cultivable human norovirus surrogates, particularly Tulane virus. He is also involved in efforts to cultivate human noroviruses in vitro and to discriminate between infectious and non-infectious virus.
Executive Board member Dr. Angela Fraser at Clemson University leads NoroCORE’s Extension and Outreach Core. Dr. Fraser’s efforts center around the development and evaluation of food safety programs targeting consumers and the retail/foodservice industry. Projects include surveys to assess target audience knowledge of norovirus, assessments of existing intervention materials, and development of interventions tailored to the identified needs of various target audiences, as well as a study sampling restroom surfaces in retail food establishments for the presence of norovirus.
Executive Board member Dr. Christine Moe at Emory University is a leader in NoroCORE’s Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Core. Collaborator Dr. Juan Leon of Emory also focuses research related to this Core. The Emory team’s efforts center around the characterization of the endemic human norovirus disease burden and estimation of the economic burden of human norovirus foodborne outbreaks.
Collaborator Dr. Efstathia Papafragkou and her team at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Nutrition are developing and evaluating tiling microarrays for detection of norovirus. This technology can distinguish noroviruses at the sub-genogroup level and is being adapted to a high-density array format.
Collaborator Dr. Suri Iyer is working on Detection efforts, developing rapid point-of-care diagnostics for human norovirus strains, based on novel glycan-based platforms.
Executive Board member Dr. Alvin Lee of the Illinois Insitute of Technology’s Institution for Food Safety and Health is a leader in the Prevention and Control Core. His research focuses on testing the efficacy of candidate technologies to remove and/or inactivate viruses and their surrogates in foods (small scale), including high pressure processing and pulsed light technologies.
Collaborator Dr. Ken Moore is collaborating with NoroCORE to facilitate education and outreach to the molluscan shellfish industry. NoroCORE will work with the ISSC to aid the preparation and distribution of training materials, as well as develop an outreach campaign focused on educating recreational boaters.
Collaborator Dr. Marlene Janes at Louisiana State University is studying the prevalence of pathogenic enteric viruses and quantities of microbial indicators of fecal contamination in the influent and effluent waters of wastewater treatment plants, as a part of Prevention and Control Core efforts.
Collaborator Dr. Leonard Williams is a leader in the Prevention and Control Core, with studies focused on the development of nano-biomaterials for inactivation of norovirus and studies determining antimicrobial resistance profiles of multiple microorganisms from food, clinical, and veterinary sources tested against both natural and synthetic agents.
Executive Board member Dr. Liju Yang of North Carolina Central University is developing a biosensor platform for detecting human noroviures, based on an immunomagnetic capture system and colorimetric detection, as part of the Detection Core. Dr. Yang also oversees the placement of undergraduate interns for NoroCORE Capacity Building efforts.
Executive Board member Mr. Stephen Beaulieu of Neptune and Company is spearheading the development of a predictive risk assessment model that will serve as a “virtual laboratory” for both practitioners and students to investigate the interactions among multiple risk factors (e.g., poor personal hygiene, contaminated food, aerosolized viral particles), and support the evaluation of user-defined intervention strategies. Ultimately, this technology is intended to provide critical inputs to risk management decisions that provide cost-effective reductions in HuNoV-related outbreaks in microenvironments such as long-term care facilities, schools, hospitals, and restaurants.
Collaborator Dr. Jeanne Gleason and her team, of the New Mexico State University Media Productions group, are working with NoroCORE staff to develop outreach and education media for inclusion in the NoroCORE graduate curriculum and various outreach materials. This is part of the Extension and Outreach and Capacity Building Core activities.
Collaborators at the Ohio State University represent efforts from the Molecular Virology, and Prevention and Control Cores. Drs. Linda Saif and Qiuhong Wang are developing an animal model of norovirus infection using gnotobiotic SCID pigs, as part of the Molecular Virology Core’s efforts to develop a fully permissive human norovirus cultivation system. Dr. Jianrong Li and his team focus their efforts on Prevention and Control activities, including evaluation of high pressure processing (HPP) technologies, particularly the mechanism of inactivation of norovirus by HPP, and testing of norovirus surrogates and their interactions with fresh produce.
RTI has been involved in the development of a predictive risk assessment model that will allow for scalable modeling of foodborne virus transmission in specific scenarios and environments. The model will incorporate a comprehensive set of factors such as population structure, location, behavior, and interventions, among others.
Collaborator Dr. Don Schaffner of Rutgers University is involved with data-gathering for a norovirus prevalence study assessing restroom surfaces in retail food service establishments, as part of the work being done in the Extension and Control Core. His team has also worked on an alternative diagnostics for norovirus presence on surfaces, as part of the Detection and Prevention and Control efforts.
Collaborator Dr. Kalmia Kniel and her team at the University of Delaware are working on several activities in the area of Prevention and Control. Her team is investigating uptake of viruses by leafy greens; testing the efficacy of control agents on norovirus surrogates on produce; and characterizing plant interactions with norovirus.
Executive Board member Dr. Jennifer Cannon and her team at the University of Georgia are leading efforts in the Detection, and Prevention and Control cores. Research projects include efforts to improve the ability to discriminate between infectious and non-infectious virus; evaluation of sample preparation methods for detection; studies assessing the transfer of virus between food, food preparation surfaces, and gloves/hands; and testing the efficacy of disinfectants against viruses.
Collaborator Dr. Beatriz Quiñones and her team at USDA-ARS are developing and optimizing a low-density DNA microarray for use in detecting multiple human norovirus genotypes, an effort that falls into the Detection core. The team is also testing use of this array for other foodborne viruses and for detecting viruses in environmental samples.