"Noroviruses are the most common cause of epidemic gastroenteritis, responsible for at least 50% of all gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide, and a major cause of foodborne illness." (1)

Norovirus Testing in Food / Shellfish / Water

Genogroup I  and/or Genogroup II Identification by Real Time PCR (RT-PCR).

Genogroups I and/or II are implicated in most Norovirus outbreaks.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Norovirus (the "Stomach Bug") can be transmitted through contaminated food or liquid and can be the cause of Norovirus infections. Further, the CDC indicates that it takes a very small amount of virus to make a person sick and that contamination of food can easily occur as a result of infected food handlers.  The CDC estimates that half of all food related outbreaks of illness are caused by norovirus (National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Division of Viral Diseases web-site, 2010).

Norovirus is classified as a member of the calicivirus  group of enteric viruses.  With humans as the only known reservoir, it is transmitted primarily by the fecal oral route. Outbreaks suggest contaminated food, water and raw shellfish to be the primary route of transmission with transmission to family members secondary.

BioVir has been trained in the detection of Norovirus in food products using molecular techniques, focusing on raw materials such as berries, herbs and shellfish.

In addition to detection of Norovirus in food, BioVir has isolated Norwalk from water sources by filter concentration, cell culture for subsequent identification by molecular techniques (ie. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)). 


Food Matrices tested include:

  • Raw Materials

  • Raw Shellfish

  • Juices

  • Herbs

  • Berries

  • Irrigation and Process Water

Sampling Instructions:


(1) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): Updated Norovirus Outbreak Management and Disease Prevention Guidelines, Recommendations and Reports, March 4, 2011/60(RR03);1-15



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