Occurrence of Norovirus and Hepatitis A Virus in U.S. Oysters
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Noroviruses (NoV) and hepatitis A virus (HAV) are the leading causes of non-bacterial gastroenteritis in shellfish consumers worldwide. This study determined the seasonal and geographical distribution of NoV (genogroups I and II) and HAV in live U.S. market oysters. Samples were analyzed to determine the occurrence and levels of NoV and HAV using RT-qPCR and conventional RT-PCR. NoV and HAV were detected in 3.9 and 4.4%, respectively. NoV genogroups I and II were detected, with genogroup II predominating. Sequencing identified genotypes II.4, II.3, and II.7. The GII.4 strain showed ≥98% similarity with 2006–2007 circulating strains, Minerva and Laurens. HAV sequences from the 5′ non-coding region (NCR) of the genome were from genotypes I, II, or III. The incidence of NoV in oysters harvested from Atlantic Coast states was higher than that in oysters from other regions and its occurrence was greatest during the cooler months (December to February). HAV was detected at a higher frequency in shellfish harvested from the Gulf Coast and also predominated during cooler months. The seasonal occurrence of viruses in this study corresponded to the reported incidence of shellfish-associated viral illnesses. This investigation provides an overview of the occurrence and distribution of NoV and HAV in U.S. market shellfish.
KeywordsNorovirus Hepatitis A virus Market survey Virus detection
We would like to thank the GCSL retail study team (Angelo DePaola, Jessica Jones, Kevin Calci, and Jeffrey Krantz); individuals at participating FDA-ORA laboratories (Emily Jacobs and Angela Swinford—FDA SRL, Khamphet Nabe and June Wetherington—FDA PRL-NW, Kuppuswamy Kasturi and Jose Obano—FDA NRL, and Donna Hill-Williams and Nelly Tran—FDA PRL-SW. We thank the ISSC for financial support and FDA personnel and individuals from the collecting states. We would also like to thank Susan McCarthy for review of this manuscript.
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