Oregano Oil Kills Norovirus

Scientists have found that carvacrol is effective against norovirus, causing the breakdown of the virus' tough outer coat.

Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting disease, is the leading cause of vomiting and diarrhea around the world. It is particularly problematic in nursing homes, hospitals, cruise ships, and schools, and is a very common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks. Although the disease is unpleasant, most people recover fully within a few days. But for people with an existing serious medical problem, this highly infectious virus can be dangerous.

Dr Kelly Bright, who led the research at the University of Arizona said "Carvacrol could potentially be used as a food sanitizer and possibly as a surface sanitizer, particularly in conjunction with other antimicrobials. We have some work to do to assess its potential but carvacrol has a unique way of attacking the virus, which makes it an interesting prospect."

In the experiments, carvacrol appeared to act directly on the virus capsid -- a tough layer of proteins that surrounds the virus -- causing it to break down. This would give another antimicrobial the opportunity to enter the internal part of the virus and kill it. So if carvacrol is used as a sanitizer in the future, it's likely to be in conjunction with another antimicrobial. And because it is slower acting than many disinfectants, such as bleach, it would be best used as part of a routine cleaning regimen to provide long-lasting antimicrobial residue on surfaces.

The research was published on February 12 in the Society for Applied Microbiology's Journal of Applied Microbiology.

Source: Sciencedaily.com

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