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Viral Foodborne Disease Agents of Concern

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Viruses transmitted to humans via foods generally emanate from the human intestines. In the United States, Norwalk virus ranked #5, hepatitis A virus #6, and "other viruses" (principally rotavirus) #10 among the top 10 causes of foodborne disease during 1983-1987. Molluscs are the most frequently reported vehicles, but any food handled by humans may transmit human enteric viruses. Some fruit and vegetable vehicles may have been contaminated in the field before or during harvesting. Viruses in foods may be inactivated before the food is eaten, and thus, not cause infection. Increasingly sensitive detection methods, largely based on "molecular" techniques, are becoming available for these viruses but are not applicable to monitoring foods on a routine basis.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Food Research Institute (Department of Food Microbiology and Toxicology), World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on Food Virology and Departments of Bacteriology and of Animal Health and Biomedical Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 57306-1187

Publication date: February 1, 1994

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