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Oregano Compound Proves Potentially Useful In Destroying Norovirus

February 11, 2014: 12:00 AM EST
A compound found in oregano oil has been found effective in breaking down the norovirus responsible for a condition known as ”winter vomiting disease” that affected more than 600 people on a recent cruise. Norovirus, a common cause of foodborne illnesses, is a serious problem in nursing homes, hospitals, cruise ships and schools. In the U.S. study, conducted using the mouse version of norovirus, carvacrol acted directly on the virus’s tough surrounding layer of proteins, causing it to break down. The researchers said that allows another antimicrobial to enter the internal part of the virus and kill it. The suggested that carvacrol could someday be used as a food sanitizer or a surface sanitizer with other antimicrobials.
D.H. Gilling et al., "Antiviral efficacy and mechanisms of action of oregano essential oil and its primary component carvacrol against murine norovirus", Journal of Applied Microbiology, February 11, 2014, © The Society for Applied Microbiology
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