From Cambridge University in England, Dr. Lucy Thorne traveled to Uganda to collaborate with scientists there to study the prevalence of intestinal viruses like Hepatitis E and norovirus in young children.
Hepatitis E infection results in an acute liver disease, and norovirus infections are highly contagious and cause intense vomiting and diarrhea. In an area where there are high rates of HIV and malaria co-infections, little is known about the prevalence of these intestinal diseases.
Thorne and her partners in Uganda received thousands of blood samples for the study. They screened the samples for antibodies to each of the viruses, looking for indication that an immune response had begun to either or both viral infections.
Results showed high rates of norovirus infection early on in life when children are most vulnerable. Thorne's study was funded by a research grant from the Microbiological Society.