Analytical methods for virus detection in water and food

Bosch, A.; Sanchez, G.; Abbaszadegan, M.; Carducci, A.; Guix, S.; Guyader, F.S. Le; Netshikweta, R.; Pintó, R.M.; Poel, W.H.M. van der; Rutjes, S.; Sano, D.; Taylor, M.D.; Zijl, W.B. Van; Rodriguez-Lázaro, D.; Kovac, K.; Sellwood, J.


Potential ways to address the issues that relate to the techniques for analyzing food and environmental samples for the presence of enteric viruses are discussed. It is not the authors’ remit to produce or recommend standard or reference methods but to address specific issues in the analytical procedures. Foods of primary importance are bivalve molluscs, particularly, oysters, clams, and mussels; salad crops such as lettuce, green onions and other greens; and soft fruits such as raspberries and strawberries. All types of water, not only drinking water but also recreational water (fresh, marine, and swimming pool), river water (irrigation water), raw and treated sewage are potential vehicles for virus transmission. Well over 100 different enteric viruses could be food or water contaminants; however, with few exceptions, most well-characterized foodborne or waterborne viral outbreaks are restricted to hepatitis A virus (HAV) and calicivirus, essentially norovirus (NoV). Target viruses for analytical methods include, in addition to NoV and HAV, hepatitis E virus (HEV), enteroviruses (e.g., poliovirus), adenovirus, rotavirus, astrovirus, and any other relevant virus likely to be transmitted by food or water. A survey of the currently available methods for detection of viruses in food and environmental matrices was conducted, gathering information on protocols for extraction of viruses from various matrices and on the various specific detection techniques for each virus type