(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists at the US National Institutes of Health have discovered that a group of viruses that cause intestinal infections can be spread through the saliva of mice, the study was published in the journal Nature.
This suggests that rotaviruses and noroviruses, which are part of this group, can be transmitted from person to person by airborne droplets.
“This is a completely new area – it was believed that these viruses do not affect the salivary gland, multiply mainly in the intestine and are transmitted by the fecal-oral route.
Now we can find new ways to diagnose these viruses and prevent their spread,” said study author Nihal Altan-Bonnet.
According to the researchers, the discovery was made by accident – scientists conducted experiments with intestinal viruses on mice that do not have immunity to them.
Scientists infected newborn mice less than 10 days old with the virus and allowed them to suckle their mother’s milk.
The researchers noticed that the mice developed immunity to viruses. At the same time, viruses actively multiplied in the tissues of the mammary ducts of the mother.
Infection in the mother’s body increased the production of virus-fighting antibodies in breast milk, which ultimately helped clear the infection in mice.
In an effort to find out how the viruses got into the mother’s breast tissues in the first place, the researchers conducted additional experiments and found that the salivary glands of mice reproduce these viruses in large quantities.
In the future, scientists expect to confirm the hypothesis of the possibility of transmission of the virus through human saliva.
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