Investigations on the frequency of norovirus contamination of ready-to-eat food items in Istanbul, Turkey, by using real-time reverse transcription PCR

Aysun Yilmaz, Kamil Bostan, Eda Altan, Karlo Muratoglu, Nuri Turan, Derya Tan, Christopher Helps, Huseyin Yilmaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Investigation of norovirus (NoV) contamination of food items is important because many outbreaks occur after consumption of contaminated shellfish, vegetables, fruits, and water. The frequency of NoV contamination in food items has not previously been investigated in Turkey. The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of human NoV genogroups (G) I and II in ready-to-eat tomatoes, parsley, green onion, lettuce, mixed salads, and cracked wheat balls. RNA was extracted with the RNeasy Mini Kit, and a real-time reverse transcription (RT) PCR assay was performed using primers specific for NoV GI and GII. Among the 525 samples analyzed, NoV GII was detected in 1 green onion sample and 1 tomato sample by both SYBR Green and TaqMan real-time RT-PCR assays; no GI virus was detected. The Enterobactericaeae and Escherichia coli levels in the NoV-positive green onion were 6.56 and 1.28 log CFU/g, and those in the tomato were 5.55 and 1.30 log CFU/g, respectively. No significant difference in the bacterial levels was found between the NoV-positive and NoV-negative samples. This study is the first in which NoV GII was found in ready-to-eat food collected from Istanbul, Turkey; thus, these foods may be considered a risk to human health. Epidemiological studies and measures to prevent NoV infection should be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-3
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Volume74
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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