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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2008 Feb;74(4):1030-8. Epub 2007 Dec 21.

Predictive model for inactivation of feline calicivirus, a norovirus surrogate, by heat and high hydrostatic pressure.

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Technische Universität Berlin, Institut für Lebensmittelbiotechnologie und -prozesstechnik, Königin-Luise-Strasse 22, D-14195 Berlin, Germany.


Noroviruses, which are members of the Caliciviridae family, represent the leading cause of nonbacterial gastroenteritis in developed countries; such norovirus infections result in high economic costs for health protection. Person-to-person contact, contaminated water, and foods, especially raw shellfish, vegetables, and fruits, can transmit noroviruses. We inactivated feline calicivirus, a surrogate for the nonculturable norovirus, in cell culture medium and mineral water by heat and high hydrostatic pressure. Incubation at ambient pressure and 75 degrees C for 2 min as well as treatment at 450 MPa and 15 degrees C for 1 min inactivated more than 7 log10 PFU of calicivirus per ml in cell culture medium or mineral water. The heat and pressure time-inactivation curves obtained with the calicivirus showed tailing in the logarithmic scale. Modeling by nth-order kinetics of the virus inactivation was successful in predicting the inactivation of the infective virus particles. The developed model enables the prediction of the calicivirus reduction in response to pressures up to 500 MPa, temperatures ranging from 5 to 75 degrees C, and various treatment times. We suggest high pressure for processing of foods to reduce the health threat posed by noroviruses.

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