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Food Environ Virol. 2013 Mar;5(1):35-40. doi: 10.1007/s12560-012-9095-8.

Norovirus and other human enteric viruses in moroccan shellfish.

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Laboratoire de Virologie M├ędicale, Institut Pasteur du Maroc, 1, Place Louis Pasteur, 20360, Casablanca, Morocco.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of human enteric viruses in shellfish collected along the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Coast of Morocco. A total of 77 samples were collected from areas potentially contaminated by human sewage. Noroviruses were detected in 30 % of samples, with an equal representation of GI and GII strains, but were much more frequently found in cockles or clams than in oysters. The method used, including extraction efficiency controls, allowed the quantification of virus concentration. As in previous reports, results showed levels of contamination between 100 and 1,000 copies/g of digestive tissues. Sapoviruses were detected in 13 % of samples mainly in oyster and clam samples. Hepatitis A virus was detected in two samples, with concentrations around 100 RNA copies/g of digestive tissues. Only two samples were contaminated with enterovirus and none with norovirus GIV or Aichi virus. This study highlights the interest of studying shellfish samples from different countries and different production areas. A better knowledge of shellfish contamination helps us to understand virus levels in shellfish and to improve shellfish safety, thus protecting consumers.

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