Food and Environmental Virology

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 124–129 | Cite as

Rapid Detection of Norovirus in Naturally Contaminated Food: Foodborne Gastroenteritis Outbreak on a Cruise Ship in Brazil, 2010

  • Simone Guadagnucci Morillo
  • Adriana Luchs
  • Audrey Cilli
  • Maria do Carmo Sampaio Tavares Timenetsky
Original Paper


Norovirus (NoV) is a prevalent pathogen of foodborne diseases; however, its detection in foods other than shellfish is often time consuming and unsuccessful. In 2010, an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis occurred on a cruise ship in Brazil, and NoV was the etiologic agent suspected. The objectives of this study were to report that a handy in-house methodology was suitable for NoV detection in naturally contaminated food, and perform the molecular characterization of food strains. Food samples (blue cheese, Indian sauce, herbal butter, soup, and white sauce) were analyzed by ELISA, two methods of RNA extraction, TRIzol® and QIAamp®, following conventional RT-PCR. The qPCR was used in order to confirm the NoV genogroups. GI and GII NoV genogroups were identified by conventional RT-PCR after RNA extraction by means of the TRIzol® method. Two GII NoV samples were successfully sequenced, classified as GII.4; and they displayed a genetic relationship with strains from the Asian continent also isolated in 2010. GII and GI NoV were identified in distinct food matrices suggesting that it was not a common source of contamination. TRIzol® extraction followed by conventional RT-PCR was a suitable methodology in order to identify NoV in naturally contaminated food. Moreover, food samples could be processed within 8 h indicating the value of the method used for NoV detection, and its potential to identify foodborne gastroenteritis outbreaks in food products other than shellfish. This is the first description in Brazil of NoV detection in naturally contaminated food other than shellfish involved in a foodborne outbreak.


Norovirus Foodborne gastroenteritis outbreak Cruise ship outbreak 



We thank the Enteric Diseases Laboratory of Adolfo Lutz staff, Rita de Cassia Compagnoli Carmona for laboratory supervision, Cibele Daniel Ribeiro for technical assistance with the qPCR assay, Antonio Erculiani Junior for technical assistance with the sequencing reaction, and Sirlene Henrique Rodrigues Silva for laboratorial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simone Guadagnucci Morillo
    • 1
  • Adriana Luchs
    • 1
  • Audrey Cilli
    • 1
  • Maria do Carmo Sampaio Tavares Timenetsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Enteric Diseases Laboratory, Virology CenterAdolfo Lutz InstituteSão PauloBrazil

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