Semi-direct lysis of swabs and evaluation of their efficiencies to recover human noroviruses GI and GII from surfaces.

Research paper by Ann A De Keuckelaere, Ambroos A Stals, Mieke M Uyttendaele

Indexed on: 17 May '14Published on: 17 May '14Published in: Food and Environmental Virology


Enteric viruses such as noroviruses (NoVs) continue to be the cause of widespread viral outbreaks due to person-to-person transmission, contaminated food, and contaminated surfaces. In order to optimize swabbing methodology for the detection of viruses on (food) contact surfaces, three swab elution/extraction strategies were compared in part one of this study, out of which, one strategy was based on the recently launched ISO protocol (ISO/TS 15216-1) for the determination of hepatitis A virus and NoV in food using real-time RT-PCR (RT-qPCR). These three swab elution/extraction strategies were tested for the detection of GI.4 and GII.4 NoV on high-density polyethylene (HD-PE) surfaces with the use of cotton swabs. For detection of GI.4 and GII.4, the sample recovery efficiency (SRE) obtained with the direct lysis strategy (based on ISO/TS 15216-1) was significantly lower than the SRE obtained with both other strategies. The semi-direct lysis strategy was chosen to assess the SRE of two common swabs (cotton swab and polyester swab) versus the biowipe (Biomérieux, Lyon, France) on three surfaces (HD-PE, neoprene rubber (NR), and nitrile gloves (GL)). For both surfaces, HD-PE and GL, no significant differences in SREs of GI.4 and GII.4 NoVs were detected between the three different swabs. For the coarser NR, biowipes turned out to be the best option for detecting both GI.4 and GII.4 NoV.