Chancellor’s Innovation Fund Winner
A PCT Application has been filed on this technology
NC State is looking for entrepreneurs in the food or environmental pathogen detection market to commercialize a DNA fragment-based technology for detection and capture of human noroviruses.
Human Noroviruses (HuNoVs) are a leading cause of foodborne disease in the United States, where an estimated 21 million cases of illness are reported annually. Worldwide, noroviruses are the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis (diarrhea and vomiting) outbreaks. Contamination of food and water is a common mode of transmission, with frequent outbreaks in closed settings such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and cruise ships. These viruses can be infectious at very low doses and persist in the environment due to resistance to common sanitizers and disinfectants. Such high rates of infection for HuNoVs have been estimated to cost more than $2 billion to the overall economy. Every year, up to 70,000 hospitalizations and nearly 1,000 deaths are associated with HuNoVs.
Routine detection in food and environmental samples is limited, inefficient, and costly. Current detection methods are labor intensive, lack broad reactivity to HuNov sub-types and are often not specific enough to detect HuNov at the low concentrations found in the environment. Researchers at NC State have developed a new method to detect and capture common HuNoV strains using small fragments of DNA. These fragments are able to bind viral particles and can be used as diagnostic tools for contaminated food and feces samples. Unlike other methods relying on expensive antibodies and methods to concentrate the viruses, detection of HuNoVs using small DNA fragments can be inexpensive, simple, specific, and useful against various viral strains.
Fast and convenient method to detect and capture HuNoVs, at very low concentrations
DNA fragments are small and resistant to degradation
Lower production cost and longer expected shelf life
Useful diagnostic tool for identification of HuNoV strains in food matrices and stool samples
In the News
About the Inventors
Dr. Lee Ann-Jaykus is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutritional Sciences at NC State University. She received her PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Jaykus is currently serving as the scientific director of the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative. She is well known for her work in Food Virology, focusing on developing methods to detect human enteric virus contamination in foods and environmental samples, and better understanding the dynamics of virus transmission through the food chain.