Norovirus monitoring in bivalve molluscs harvested and commercialized in southern Italy.

Journal of food protection

PubMedID: 22564951

Pepe T, Ventrone I, Suffredini E, Ceruso M, Croci L, Anastasio A, Cortesi ML. Norovirus monitoring in bivalve molluscs harvested and commercialized in southern Italy. J Food Prot. 2012;75(5):976-81.
Norovirus (NoV) is the main cause of human nonbacterial gastroenteritis throughout the world. NoVs are classified into five genogroups: GI, GII, GIII, GIV, and GV. NoVs from GI and GII are the most commonly reported NoVs associated with human infections, and raw or undercooked shellfish have been identified as the main potential infection vehicle. European Commission Regulation 2073/2005 defines only bacteriological parameters for use as safety criteria for shellfish because reference methods for detection of viruses are lacking. From July 2007 to April 2010, 163 shellfish samples were collected in southern Italy from harvesting areas, authorized or nonauthorized retailers, and a restaurant after an outbreak of human gastroenteritis. The shellfish were analyzed for the presence of NoVs from GI and GII using the one-step real-time reverse transcription PCR protocol. A total of 94 shellfish samples (57.7%) were positive for the presence of NoV, and GII was the most frequently identified genogroup.