An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Improved Extraction and Detection of Viruses in Foods

Jaykus, Lee-Ann
North Carolina State University
Start date
End date
Human enteric viruses, particularly the Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs), are now estimated to be the most common cause of food borne disease, accounting for perhaps over 60% of all cases. With the advent of molecular biological techniques, the ability to detect these agents in clinical samples has improved dramatically. Unfortunately, the development of methods to detect these same viruses in foods has not proceeded as rapidly. Accordingly, the purpose of this project is to improve the ability to detect and differentiate NLVs in foods at levels more consistent with those expected in naturally contaminated products.
More information
The general approach includes concentration of the viruses fromt he food matrix followed by detection and strain discrimination using rapid molecular amplification techniques. Efforts will focus on: 1) improving the efficiency of virus extraction from foods; 2) improving the speed, sensitivity and specificity of NLV detection;3) exploring alternative molecular methods for strain discrimination and typing; and 4) evaluating detection limits on both artificially and naturally contaminated foods. Methods developed in this project should yield confirmed, positive results in 24-48 hours for the epidemiologically important NLVs, with detection limits approaching those needed to detect the levels of virus in naturally contaminated food products. This project is consistent with the need for innovative research on the development ofaccurate, practical, and cost effective detection methods for microbial food borne pathogens. These efforts will improve the safety of food products, protect public health, and minimize financial losses due to viral contamination of foods, thereby contributing to the sustainability of U.S. agriculture and the retail food market.
Project number
Accession number
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Detection Methods