Norwalk virus-like particles as vaccines

Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, Hugh Mason, Qiang Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Noroviruses (NoV) cause the great majority of epidemic nonbacterial gastroenteritis in humans. Expression of the capsid protein in recombinant systems, including insect and plant cells, yields assembly of virus-like particles (VLPs) that mimic the antigenic structure of authentic virions, and are relatively acid- and heat-stable. Norwalk virus (NV), the prototype NoV, has been studied extensively, and Norwalk virus-like particles (NVLPs) produced in insect cells and plants are immunogenic in mice and humans when delivered orally, stimulating the production of systemic and mucosal anti-NV antibodies. NVLPs are also highly immunogenic when delivered intranasally, provoking antibodies at levels similar to orally delivered VLP at much lower doses. Oral and nasal delivery of NVLPs efficiently produces antibodies at distal mucosal sites, which suggests that NVLPs could be used to deliver heterologous peptide antigens by production of genetic fusion chimeric capsid proteins. Examination of norovirus VLP surface structures and receptor binding motifs facilitates identification of potential sites for insertion of foreign peptides that will minimally affect the efficiency of VLP assembly and receptor binding. Thus, there is strong potential to use norovirus VLPs as vaccine-delivery vehicles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-307
Number of pages9
JournalExpert review of vaccines
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Chimeric vaccines
  • Intranasal delivery
  • Mucosal antibody
  • Mucosal immunity
  • Multivalent vaccines
  • Norovirus
  • Oral delivery
  • VLP
  • Vaccine platforms
  • Virus-like particle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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