CDC Identifies Most Serious Norovirus Strains Interview with:
"Day 19: Norovirus (stomach flu) visits our home." by Loren Kerns is licensed under CC BY 2.0Rachel M. Burke, PhD, MPH
Epidemiologist, Viral Gastroenteritis Branch
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA 30329 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Noroviruses are the leading cause of vomiting and diarrhea from acute gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach or intestines) among people of all ages in the United States. Each year in the United States, norovirus illness is responsible for an estimated 19 to 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis, and contributes to 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths, mostly among children and the elderly.

CDC linked information from two different surveillance systems to analyze 3,747 norovirus outbreaks reported by health departments from 2009 to 2016. Our study provides a comprehensive description of norovirus outbreaks from the epidemiology and laboratory perspectives, using the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) and CaliciNet, respectively. 

Norovirus outbreaks caused by GII.4 strains occurred more often in healthcare settings, affected older adults, and caused more severe illness, leading to hospitalization or death.

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Disruption of Circadian Rhythms and Impaired Intestinal Barrier

Keith Summa MD/PhD Student Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Chicago, Illinois, United States of Interview with:
Keith Summa MD/PhD Student
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Chicago, Illinois, United States of America


Disruption of the Circadian Clock in Mice Increases Intestinal Permeability and Promotes Alcohol-Induced Pathology and Inflammation What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: The main findings of the study were that disruption of circadian rhythms, which we achieved using independent genetic and environmental strategies in mice, leads to impaired function of the intestinal epithelial barrier. This loss of epithelial barrier integrity, which has been associated with numerous diseases, results in “gut leakiness,” a phenomenon in which endotoxin from gut bacteria can cross the intestinal wall and enter circulation, promoting inflammation. In particular, using in a disease model of gut-derived endotoxemia and inflammation, alcoholic liver disease, we found the circadian disruption interacted with alcohol, leading to increased gut leakiness, inflammation and liver damage.

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