Detection of Enteric Viruses in Shellfish
Norovirus and hepatitis A virus contamination are significant threats to the safety of shellfish and other foods. Methods for the extraction and assay of these viruses from shellfish are complex, time consuming, and technically challenging. Here, we itemize some of the salient points in extracting viruses from shellfish tissues and analyzing the extracts. A more comprehensive treatment of these topics will soon be available in: Richards GP, Cliver DO, Greening GE (in press) Foodborne viruses. Compendium of methods for the microbiological examination of foods, 5th edn. American Public Health Association, Washington, DC. Here, we describe some of the basic principles of virus extraction and molecular assay of viruses in shellfish, the importance of controls, and the limitations of both the extraction and assay methods. Recent efforts to validate methods for virus detection in shellfish center on a method currently in use in Canada and another method under validation in the European Union. The availability of such methods is important in tracking sources of outbreaks and may lead to the establishment of routine monitoring programs.
KeywordsEnteric Virus Internal Amplification Control Canadian Food Inspection Agency Shellfish Tissue Guanidinium Isothiocyanate
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