, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 55-60
Date: 29 May 2011

Nucleic Acid Amplification-Based Methods for Detection of Enteric Viruses: Definition of Controls and Interpretation of Results

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The most effective methods for virus detection in food and environmental samples are those based on nucleic acid amplification. Complex methods must be applied by the analyst in order to control for false negative results of virus detection assays in those samples that may be contaminated by virus concentrations above the detection level. The verification of analytical results is a necessity and this depends on using an appropriate suite of controls to monitor the efficacy of the critical steps in the method and allow correct result interpretations to be made. We describe the suite of controls necessary for analysing food and environmental samples for the presence of enteric viruses by nucleic acid amplification-based methods. To exclude false negative and positive interpretations of results, the inclusion of this suite of controls will be essential when considering incorporating monitoring of viruses in food or environmental safety management plans.