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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1996 Nov;62(11):4268-72.

Detection and analysis of a small round-structured virus strain in oysters implicated in an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis.

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  • 1Division of Molecular Virology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Outbreaks of shellfish-transmitted viral disease occur periodically, but frequently the causative agent is not identified. In November 1993, during investigation of a multistate outbreak of acute gastroenteritis, incriminated lots of oysters were collected. Oyster tissues (stomachs and digestive diverticula) were processed for virus extraction and nucleic acid purification. Human calicivirus sequences were sought by reverse transcriptase PCR using different primer sets. Amplicons were obtained from 9 of 10 shellfish samples from four different lots when primers specific for the outbreak virus strain were used. The specificity of the amplification was confirmed by hybridization. The amplicons from the nine positive oysters were cloned and sequenced. The sequence of each of the clones was identical to the others but showed some variation (7 of 81 bp) from the sequences obtained from the stools of three persons made III by the outbreak.

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