Stomach Flu Vaccine Looks Good in Early Trial

Oct. 8, 2013

Man getting sick.A new vaccine for norovirus – the microbe behind most cases of what people commonly call stomach flu – protected patients against severe vomiting and diarrhea, researchers reported at a meeting called IDWeek that highlights the latest scientific findings on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. In the phase I/II trial, 98 healthy adults were exposed to norovirus. Among patients who received the experimental vaccine, none reported severe vomiting and/or diarrhea. Of the participants who did not receive the vaccine, more than 8 percent reported such symptoms.

URMC, under the leadership of John Treanor, M.D., chief of the Infectious Diseases Division, was one of five study sites that enrolled patients for the trial. Emory, the University of Cincinnati, Baylor and SNBL Clinical Pharmacology Center in Baltimore also enrolled patients. Currently, there is no norovirus vaccine, and researchers hope to begin testing these preliminary results in a real-world setting.

According to the latest reports from the CDC, norovirus was the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the U.S. from 2009 to 2010, even without outcomes reported from cruise ships (Norovirus is often called the “cruise ship virus” because it runs through groups confined in close quarters and there have been several high-profile outbreaks in that setting.) 

Read more about the trial results here