Interlaboratory Validation of a Method for Hepatitis E Virus RNA Detection in Meat and Meat Products
Increasing numbers of hepatitis E cases are currently recognized in many European countries. The zoonotic hepatitis E virus (HEV) genotype 3 mainly circulates in domestic pigs and wild boars, and can be transmitted to humans via consumption of insufficiently heated meat or meat products produced from those animals. Here, a detailed protocol for detection of HEV RNA in meat products is provided, which is based on the method originally described by Szabo et al. (Intl J Food Microbiol 215:149–156, 2015). It consists of a TRI Reagent®/chloroform-based food matrix homogenization, a silica bead-based RNA extraction and a real-time RT-PCR-based RNA detection. The method was further validated in a ring trial with nine independent laboratories using pork liver sausage samples artificially contaminated with different amounts of HEV. The results indicate sufficient sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the method for its broad future use in survey studies, routine food control or outbreak investigations.
KeywordsHepatitis E virus Meat products Detection method Validation Ring trial
The authors wish to thank Anja Schlosser and Silke Apelt for excellent technical assistance during preparation of the samples for the collaborative trial. Eva Trojnar was supported by a grant of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) executed within the framework of the project ZooGloW (FKZ 13 N12697). The collaborative trial was in part financially supported by the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety, Germany.
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