IRP scientists discover norovirus and other “stomach viruses” can spread through saliva
A class of viruses known to cause severe diarrheal diseases — including the one famous for widespread outbreaks on cruise ships — can grow in the salivary glands of mice and spread through their saliva, scientists at the National Institutes of Health have discovered. The findings show that a new route of transmission exists for these common viruses, which afflict billions of people each year worldwide and can be deadly.
The transmission of these so-called enteric viruses through saliva suggests that coughing, talking, sneezing, sharing food and utensils, and even kissing all have the potential for spreading the viruses. The new findings still need to be confirmed in human studies.
The findings, which appear in the journal Nature, could lead to better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases caused by these viruses, potentially saving lives. The study was led by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of NIH.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, July 27, 2022