THERMOVIR

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Between now and 2012, the CEN1 WG275/TAG4 group will complete the development of consensual extraction and detection methods by real time RT-PCR of Noroviruses and Hepatitis A Virus in food matrixes. This work will probably lead to the implementation of a European regulation laying down virological controls on food at risk amongst which can be found bivalve molluscs (cf. Hygiene Packet). The RT-PCR allows for the specific detection of low quantities of genome in a sample, but does not provide information on the risk of infection for the consumer. An OFIMER2 programme finalised in 2008 highlighted the presence of Norovirus genomes in a great many batches of precooked frozen molluscs (~20%, n=83). The presence of associated infectious viruses could not be investigated due to the absence of permissive cells for human viruses.  The aims of this project are:
- to use model enteric viruses (VHA, MNV3) to assess, by simultaneously measuring the presence of the viral genome (RT-PCR) and also infectious particles (cell culture), the virucidal efficacy of industrial thermic processes used in de-shelling and in the cooking of biivalve molluscs (steam, boiling water),
- to test an enzymatic pre-treatment which allows only for the detection of infectious particles in  RT-PC.

1 European Committee for Standardisation WG275/TAG4 «Detection of viruses in food» work group;
2 OFIMER Programme n° 054/06/C «Emerging sanitary risks in imported, frozen seafood», backed by the Syndicat National du Commerce Extérieur (SNCE) ;
3 VHA: Hepatits A Virus; MNV: murine norovirus.

This project was labellised by the AQUIMER Pole of Competitiveness on 23 April 2009.

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