Effect of high hydrostatic pressure on murine norovirus in Manila clams

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Aims:Eating raw or insufficiently cooked bivalve molluscs contaminated with human noroviruses (NVs) can result in acute cases of gastroenteritis in humans. Manila clams (Ruditapes philippinarum) are particularly prone to exposure to NVs due to the brackish environment in which they are farmed which is known to be susceptible to human faecal contamination. High hydrostatic pressure processing (HHP) is a food treatment technique that has been shown to inactivate NV.Methods and results:In this study we investigated the ability of HHP to inactivate murine norovirus (MNV-1), a recognised surrogate for NV, in experimentally contaminated manila clams. Pools of contaminated live clams were subjected to hydrostatic pressure ranging from 300 to 500 MPa for different time intervals of between one and 10 min. The trial was repeated three times, at monthly intervals.Conclusions:Virus vitality post-treatment was assessed and the data obtained indicates that the use of high hydrostatic pressures of at least 500 MPa for 1 min was effective in inactivating MNV-1.Significance and Impact of the Study:HHP results to be an effective technique that could be applied to industrial process to obtain safe Manila clams ready to eat.

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