Evaluation of the 50% Infectious Dose of Human Norovirus Cin-2 in Gnotobiotic Pigs: A Comparison of Classical and Contemporary Methods for Endpoint Estimation
Ramesh, Ashwin K.
Schmidt, Philip J.
Emelko, Monica B.
MetadataShow full item record
Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are the leading causative agents of epidemic and sporadic acute gastroenteritis that affect people of all ages worldwide. However, very few dose–response studies have been carried out to determine the median infectious dose of HuNoVs. In this study, we evaluated the median infectious dose (ID50) and diarrhea dose (DD50) of the GII.4/2003 variant of HuNoV (Cin-2) in the gnotobiotic pig model of HuNoV infection and disease. Using various mathematical approaches (Reed–Muench, Dragstedt–Behrens, Spearman–Karber, exponential, approximate beta-Poisson dose–response models, and area under the curve methods), we estimated the ID50 and DD50 to be between 2400–3400 RNA copies, and 21,000–38,000 RNA copies, respectively. Contemporary dose–response models offer greater flexibility and accuracy in estimating ID50. In contrast to classical methods of endpoint estimation, dose–response modelling allows seamless analyses of data that may include inconsistent dilution factors between doses or numbers of subjects per dose group, or small numbers of subjects. Although this investigation is consistent with state-of-the-art ID50 determinations and offers an advancement in clinical data analysis, it is important to underscore that such analyses remain confounded by pathogen aggregation. Regardless, challenging virus strain ID50 determination is crucial for identifying the true infectiousness of HuNoVs and for the accurate evaluation of protective efficacies in pre-clinical studies of therapeutics, vaccines and other prophylactics using this reliable animal model.