Entry, innate sensing and replication of enteropathogenic caliciviruses

Year of award: 2017


  • Prof Ian Goodfellow

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

Noroviruses and sapoviruses have a huge impact on society and cost more than $60 billion every year, yet we have no drugs or vaccines to prevent or treat infections. Noroviruses were first identified in 1972 but we have only been able to grow them in the lab since late 2016. We are now able to address some fundamental questions on how they infect cells and cause disease. We have discovered that a set of molecules on the surface of cells known as lectins, in combination with blood group antigens, potentially play a role in determining host susceptibility to infection.

We will further characterise this interaction and identify the role these molecules play in the viral life cycle. We also wish to understand how cells respond to infection as we have previously shown that regulating this response using clinically approved drugs can inhibit viral replication. We also aim to identify cellular proteins required for viral replication as new potential targets.

This work will give us new information relating to biological processes in host cells and how cells respond to infection. The long-term focus of our work is to develop ways of preventing and controlling gastroenteritis caused by noroviruses and sapoviruses.