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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #244891

Title: Norovirus: Human Health and Food-borne Implications

item Kingsley, David

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/3/2009
Publication Date: 10/13/2009
Citation: Kingsley,D.2009.Norovirus: Human Health and Foodborne implications [abstract].Anne Arundel County Health Laboratory.Annapolis,MD. p.1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Norovirus (NV) infection is a significant human health issue. The CDC estimates that there are approximately 22 million cases of NV illness per annum in the United States. Of these, approximately 40% are acquired via a food-borne route. Common foods that are consumed uncooked such as raw vegetables, fruits and berries, and shellfish are frequently identified as sources of food-borne NV outbreaks. As a group, NVs are genetically diverse, making primer selection for RT-PCR detection techniques challenging. Recent revelations from NV research indicate that different virus strains attach to genetically distinct glycoproteins on the cell surface. Consequently individuals may be genetically resistant or susceptible to different strains based on their genetic makeup, but individuals are not genetically resistant to all NV strains. Research at the USDA, ARS, Microbial Safety of Aquaculture Products Center of Excellence, located on the campus of Delaware State University in Dover, DE, has focused on strategies to detect NVs and inactivate these virus strains potentially found in these food products. We have developed a four step protocol for isolation of virus from NV-contaminated shellfish. This method uses commercially available reagents and has been successfully used by our laboratory as a research tool as well as to identify virus within shellfish implicated in food-borne outbreaks. One technology that is currently being investigated by the laboratory is high pressure processing (HPP). HPP is a method that applies high pressure (3000 -7000 atm) to inactivate viruses and bacteria within food items. Since this process is non-thermal, it retains most of the raw taste and character of foods. Current research with human NV and surrogate viruses indicated that HPP can inactivate NVs within shellfish.