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Detection of Human Enteric Viruses in Japanese Clams

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A total of 57 clam packages that were collected from supermarkets and fish markets from 11 different sites in western Japan between 8 December 2005 and 6 September 2006 were examined for human enteric viruses (i.e., norovirus, Aichi virus, rotavirus, adenovirus, hepatitis A virus, and astrovirus), using PCR and reverse transcription PCR. Sixty-one percent of the packages were contaminated with one type of virus, 9% had two different types of viruses, 28% had three different types of viruses, and 9% had at least four different types of viruses. Thirty-one (54%) of 57 packages were contaminated with noroviruses. Norovirus genogroup I and genogroup II sequences were detected in 24 and 23 packages, respectively, and these sequences belonged to nine genogroup I and eight genogroup II genotypes. Aichi viruses were found in 19 (33%) of 57 packages, and these belonged to genogroup A. Rotaviruses (group A) were detected in 14 (42%) of 33 of packages and 9 of 14 rotavirus-positive packages contained two or more rotavirus genogroup types. Adenoviruses (Ad40 and Ad41) were detected in 17 (52%) of 33 packages. One of the 57 (2%) packages was positive with hepatitis A virus (subtype IA). Astrovirus was not detected in any of the packages. This is the first study to detect such a high level of contamination in Japanese clams. These results represent an important finding because the Japanese clams were considered suitable for human consumption. Further studies are needed to determine the health risks associated with eating these highly contaminated clams.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Virology II, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Musashi-murayama, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan 2: Infectious Diseases Surveillance Center, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Musashi-murayama, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan 3: National Institute of Health Sciences, Kami-Yoga 1-18-1, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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