Scientists have discovered that specific complex
carbohydrates in human milk - so called human-milk-oligosaccharides can offer
protection against norovirus.
the most common cause of viral epidemic gastroenteritis. About 18% of all
gastroenteritis infections are caused by Norovirus affecting 267 million people
worldwide every year. According to information of the Robert Koch-Institute
more than 200.000 Norovirus-infections were registered in Germany during 2012 and 2013. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention report up to 21 million Norovirus-infections per year in
is typically characterised by nausea, forceful vomiting and diarrhoea. To date
neither a therapy nor an effective protection, e.g. vaccination, exists against
Norovirus. The virus is extremely contagious and is transmitted directly from
person to person and indirectly via contaminated water, food and surfaces.
protective mechanism of human-milk-oligosaccharides cannot be overcome by
pathogens and their consumption has no adverse effects. Soluble
human-milk-oligosaccharides imitate cell-surface bound glycosylstructures that
are used by pathogens such as Norovirus as receptor or co-receptor. By oral
intake of human-milk-oligosaccharides these functional sugars prevail in the
gastrointestinal tract and the blood stream. Pathogens entering the body e.g.
in contaminated food connect to human-milk-oligosaccharides and are
subsequently eliminated together with the non-digestible carbohydrates.
Ministry of Education and Research in Germany
(BMBF) will support the development of human-milk-oligosaccharides by Jennewein
Biotechnologie for the prevention of Norovirus within the framework of
Biotechnologie is cooperating in this project with the University Children's
Hospital Mannheim of Heidelberg University. In a previous collaborative project
with the University Children's Hospital, Jennewein Biotechnologie has already
confirmed the effective inhibition of prevalent diarrhoea-causing bacteria by