Fig.1 Norovirus genomic capsid structure and organozatio. (Karst & Wobus, 2015)
Noroviruses are widespread positive-strand RNA viruses that infect the gastrointestinal tracts of mammals such as humans, mice, and cattle. Noroviruses are further divided into ten genogroups (GI-GX). GV viruses, for example, infect rodents. Murine norovirus (MNoV), which is related to human norovirus, is a norovirus that affects rodents, specifically mice. Most mice do not appear to be symptomatic, and many populations of laboratory mice are infected. However, in certain genetically engineered mice lacking an intact innate immune system, the virus causes severe systemic illness and death. MNoV is currently the most common infectious agent found in laboratory mouse facilities. MNoV has been proposed as an alternative human norovirus model.
Fig.2 Schematic diagram of the Norovirus genus within the Caliciviridae family. (Ludwig-Begall, et al., 2021)
Noroviruses are positive-strand RNA viruses with a diameter of 23nm that belong to the Caliciviridae family. The norovirus genome is a 7.5kb positive-sense single-stranded RNA. The major three ORFs encode a large polyprotein that is cleaved into six smaller non-structural proteins (NS1/2 to NS7), a major structural protein (VP1), and a minor capsid protein (VP2). ORF4 is a fourth alternative ORF found within the ORF2 region, which encodes virulence factor 1. (VF1). VF1 is a mitochondrial protein that functions as an innate immune antagonist.
Fig.3 Schematic diagram of the organization of norovirus genomes. (Ludwig-Begall, et al., 2021)
The MNoV was discovered in 2003 and was the first model for NoV replication in vitro and in vivo animal studies. Studies of norovirus pathogenetic mechanisms are difficult due to a lack of cell culture systems or small-animal models. The MNoV, on the other hand, is the only norovirus that can replicate in cell culture and small animals. Furthermore, many biological characteristics, such as genotypic features, fecal-oral transmission, intestine replication, and fecal shedding, are shared by murine and human noroviruses. MNoV has provided virologists with a valuable tool for researching the biology and pathogenesis of human norovirus.
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