Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 1383–1391 | Cite as

Histo-blood group antigens in Crassostrea gigas and binding profiles with GII.4 Norovirus

  • Liping Ma (马丽萍)
  • Hui Liu (刘慧)
  • Laijin Su (苏来金)
  • Feng Zhao (赵峰)
  • Deqing Zhou (周德庆)Email author
  • Delin Duan (段德麟)Email author


Noroviruses (NoVs) are the main cause of viral gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide, and oysters are the most common carriers of NoV contamination and transmission. NoVs bind specifically to oyster tissues through histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs), and this facilitates virus accumulation and increases virus persistence in oysters. To investigate the interaction of HBGAs in Pacific oysters with GII.4 NoV, we examined HBGAs with ELISAs and investigated binding patterns with oligosaccharide-binding assays using P particles as a model of five GII.4 NoV capsids. The HBGAs in the gut and gills exhibited polymorphisms. In the gut, type A was detected (100%), whereas type Leb (91.67%) and type A (61.11%) were both observed in the gills. Moreover, we found that seasonal NoV gastroenteritis outbreaks were not significantly associated with the specific HBGAs detected in the oyster gut and gills. In the gut, we found that strain-2006b and strain-96/96US bound to type A and H1 but only weakly bound to type Leb; in contrast, the Camberwell and Hunter strains exhibited weak binding to types H1 and Ley, and strain-Sakai exhibited no binding to any HBGA type. In the gills, strain-96/96US and strain-2006b bound to type Leb but only weakly bound to type H1; strains Camberwell, Hunter, and Sakai did not bind to oyster HBGAs. Assays for oligosaccharide binding to GII.4 NoV P particles showed that strain-95/96US and strain-2006b strongly bound to type A, B, H1, Leb, and Ley oligosaccharides, while strains Camberwell and Hunter showed weak binding ability to type H1 and Ley oligosaccharides and strain-Sakai showed weak binding ability to type Leb and Ley oligosaccharides. Our study presents new information and enhances understanding about the mechanism for NoV accumulation in oysters. Further studies of multiple NoV-tissue interactions might assist in identifying new or improved strategies for minimizing contamination, including HBGA-based attachment inhibition or depuration.


Crassostrea gigas norovirus histo-blood group antigen binding 


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We thank Dr. JIN Miao at the CDC, China, for providing the GII.4 norovirus variants and antisera, Dr. Ian R. Jenkinson for performing English revision. We also thank Katie Oakley, PhD, from Liwen Bianji, Edanz Editing China (, for editing the English text of a draft of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liping Ma (马丽萍)
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hui Liu (刘慧)
    • 2
  • Laijin Su (苏来金)
    • 2
  • Feng Zhao (赵峰)
    • 2
  • Deqing Zhou (周德庆)
    • 2
    Email author
  • Delin Duan (段德麟)
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Experimental Marine Biology, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Marine Fisheries Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research InstituteChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesQingdaoChina
  3. 3.Laboratory for Marine Biology and BiotechnologyQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina

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