Human enteric viruses are responsible for waterborne and shellfish-associated disease outbreaks worldwide. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) is often used to assess the health risks associated with shellfish and environmental water, but viral titres in sediments are less commonly investigated. In this study, we developed and validated two multiplex qRT-PCR assays for aquatic sediment and shellfish samples targeting viruses that are a common cause of gastroenteritis (norovirus GI, GII and hepatitis A virus), two emerging viruses (sapovirus and hepatitis E virus), along with mengovirus (MgV), which is often used as a sample process control for the assessment of RNA extraction efficiency. Singleplex and multiplex assays demonstrated comparable PCR efficiencies and gave reliable results over a wide concentration range. The multiplex assays showed remarkable sensitivity with a limit of detection of 1 RNA copy/µL nucleic acid extract for all target viruses and limits of quantification of 3–18 RNA copies/µL for the targeted human pathogenic viruses and 20–40 RNA copies/µL for MgV. The results demonstrated the veracity of multiplex qRT-PCR for the estimation of viral titres in sediment and shellfish, allowing the rapid assessment of viral infection risks associated with environments exposed to wastewater contamination.
Food and Environmental Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 8, 2017
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