Current Clinical Microbiology Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 143–153 | Cite as

Selected Viruses Detected on and in our Food

  • Claudia Bachofen
Foodborne Pathogens (S Johler, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Foodborne Pathogens


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to provide an update on recent literature and findings concerning selected foodborne viruses. Two groups of viruses were selected: (a) the most important viruses contaminating food, based on numbers of publications in the last 5 years and (b) viruses infecting sources of food that might have an impact on human health.

Recent Findings

Important foodborne viruses such as norovirus, hepatitis A and rotavirus are usually “only” contaminating food and are detected on the surface of foodstuffs. However, they are threats to human public health and make up for the majority of cases. In contrast, the meaning of viruses born from within the food such as natural animal and plant viruses is still in many cases unknown. An exception is Hepatitis E virus that is endemic in pigs, transmitted via pork meat and is recognised as an emerging zoonosis in industrialised countries.


Even though the clinical meaning of “new” foodborne viruses, often detected by next generation sequencing, still needs clarification, the method has great potential to enhance surveillance and detection particularly in view of an increasingly globalised food trade.


Foodborne viruses Emerging viruses Zoonosis Hepatitis E Next generation sequencing 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Recently published papers of particular interest have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Virology, Vetsuisse FacultyUniversity of ZürichZürichSwitzerland

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