Theory and practice of meat processing

Advanced search

Foodborne viruses — an emerging pathogens

Full Text:


Viral foodborne illnesses which have become a significant cause of all reported foodborne illnesses in recent years and considered as an emerging risk in veterinary public health. Foodborne transmission can occur by contamination of food by infected food handlers, by contamination of food during the production process and by consumption of products of animal origin harboring a zoonotic virus. Microbiological genomics studies discovered that noroviruses and hepatitis A viruses were primarily associated with food-handler transmission and sewage-contaminated foods while hepatitis E was associated with consumption of raw or undercooked meat of pig or wild animals. Routine harmonized surveillance of viral outbreaks, and surveillance of virus occurrence in food commodities, in combination with systematic strain typing, and joint expertise from veterinary, food, and clinical microbiologists would be recommended to aid source attribution studies and identify risk prevention measures.

About the Author

B. Velebit
Institute of Meat Hygiene and Technology
Branko Velebit — M. Sc. DVM, Principal Research Fellow, Head of Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Kaćanskog 13, 11040 Belgrade, Serbia. Tel.: +381–11–2650–722


1. Newell, D.G., Koopmans, M., Verhoef, L., Duizer, E., Aidara-Kane, A., Sprong, H., Opsteegh, M., Langelaar, M., Threfall, J., Scheutz, F., van der Giessen, J., Kruse, H. (2010). Food-borne diseases — the challenges of 20 years ago still persist while new ones continue to emerge. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 139 (Suppl. 1), S3–15.

2. Allander, T., Tammi, M.T., Eriksson, M., Bjerkner, A., Tiveljung-Lindell, A., Andersson, B. (2005). From The Cover: Cloning of a human parvovirus by molecular screening of respiratory tract samples. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102(36), 12891–12896.

3. Jones, K.E., Patel, N.G., Levy, M.A., Storeygard, A., Balk, D., Gittleman, J.L., Daszak, P. (2008). Global trends in emerging infectious diseases. Nature, 451(7181), 990–993.

4. Cook, N. (2001). Viruses in food. CPD Infection, 2, 98–101.

5. Koopmans, M., Duizer, E. (2004). Foodborne viruses: an emerging problem. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 90(1), 23–41.–1605(03)00169–7

6. Rzezutka, A., Cook, N. (2004). Survival of human enteric viruses in the environment and food. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 28(4), 441–453.

7. WHO (World Health Organization). (2008). Viruses in food: Scientific advice to support risk management. Microbiological Risk Assessment Series, No. 13. [Electronic resource: Access date 20.10.2020]

8. Baert, L., Mattison, K., Loisy-Hamon, F., Harlow, J., Martyres, A., Lebeau, B., Stals, A., Van Coillie, E., Herman, L., Uyttendaele, M. (2011). Review: Norovirus prevalence in Belgian, Canadian and French fresh produce: A threat to human health? International Journal of Food Microbiology, 151(3), 261–269.

9. Todd, E.C., Greig, J.D., Bartleson, C.A., Michaels, B.S. (2008). Outbreaks where food workers have been implicated in the spread of foodborne disease. Part 4. Infective doses and pathogen carriage. Journal of Food Protection, 71(11), 2339–2373.–028x-71.11.2339

10. Koopmans, M. (2012). Food-borne viruses from a global perspective. Chapter in a book: Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach: Workshop Summary. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US). A9.

11. 11.Trostle, J. A., Hubbard, A., Scott, J., Cevallos, W., Bates, S. J., Eisenberg, J. N. S. (2008). Raising the Level of Analysis of Food- Borne Outbreaks: Food-Sharing Networks in Rural Coastal Ecuador. Epidemiology, 19(3), 384–390.

12. Luby, S. P., Rahman, M., Hossain, M. J., Blum, L. S., Husain, M. M., Gurley, E., Khan, R., Ahmed, B.-N., Rahman, S., Nahar, N., Kenah, E., Comer, J., Ksiazek, T. G. (2006). Foodborne Transmission of Nipah Virus, Bangladesh. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 12(12), 1888–1894.

13. EFSA (European Food Safety Authority). (2011). Scientific Opinion on an update on the present knowledge on the occurrence and control of foodborne viruses. EFSA Journal, 9(7), 2190.

14. Kroneman, A., Verhoef, L., Harris, J., Vennema, H., Duizer, E., van Duynhoven, Y., Gray, J., Iturriza, M., et al. (2008). Analysis of integrated virological and epidemiological reports of norovirus outbreaks collected within the Foodborne Viruses in Europe network from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2006. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 46(9), 959–2965.–08

15. de Wit, M.A., Koopmans, M.P., Kortbeek, L.M., Wannet, W.J., Vinjé, J., van Leusden, F., Bartelds, A.I., van Duynhoven, Y.T. (2001). Sensor, a population-based cohort study on gastroenteritis in the Netherlands: Incidence and etiology. American Journal of Epidemiology, 154(7), 666–674.

16. Dubois, E., Agier, C., Traore, O., Hennechart, C., Merle, G., Cruciere, C., Laveran, H. (2002). Modified concentration method for the detection of enteric viruses on fruits and vegetables by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction or cell culture. Journal of Food Protection, 65(12), 1962–1969.–028x-65.12.1962

17. Votava, M., Cerhnohorska, L., Heroldova, M., Hola, V., Mejzlikova, L., Ondrovcik, P., Ruzicka, F., Dvorackova, M., Woznicova, V., Zahradnicek, O. (2003). Special Medical Microbiology. Brno: Neptun. 237–365. (in Czech).

18. Lindesmith, L.C., Donaldson, E.F., Lobue, A.D., Cannon, J.L., Zheng, D.P., Vinje, J., Baric, R.S. (2008). Mechanisms of GII.4 norovirus persistence in human populations. PLoS Medicine, 5(2), e31.

19. Siebenga, J.J., Beersma, M.F., Vennema, H., van Biezen, P., Hartwig, N.J., Koopmans, M. (2008). High prevalence of prolonged norovirus shedding and illness among hospitalized patients: A model for in vivo molecular evolution. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 198(7), 994–1001.

20. Lee, N., Chan, M. C. W., Wong, B., Choi, K. W., Sin, W., Lui, G., Chan, P.K.S., Lai, R.W.M., Cockram, C.S., Sung, J.J.Y., Leung, W. K. (2007). Fecal Viral Concentration and Diarrhea in Norovirus Gastroenteritis. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 13(9), 1399–1401.

21. Costantini, V., Morantz, E. K., Browne, H., Ettayebi, K., Zeng, X., Atmar, R. L., Estes, M.K., Vinjé, J. (2018). Human Norovirus Replication in Human Intestinal Enteroids as Model to Evaluate Virus Inactivation. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 24(8), 1453–1464.

22. Papapanagiotou, E. P. (2017). Foodborne Norovirus State of Affairs in the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed. Veterinary Sciences, 4(4), 61.

23. Abrahantes, J.C., Richardson, J., O’Mahony, M., Pare, A., Bruckers, L., Johne, R., Keaveney, S., Ianni, I., Lowther, J., Suffredini, E., et al. (2017). European baseline survey of norovirus in oysters. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Molluscan Shellfish Safety (ICMSS) 2017, Galway, Ireland, 14–18 May 2017.

24. EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards. (2015). Scientific opinion on the evaluation of heat treatments, different from those currently established in the EU legislation, that could be applied to live bivalve molluscs from B and C production areas, that have not been submitted to purification or relaying, in order to eliminate pathogenic microorganisms. EFSA Journal, 13(12), 4332.

25. Cella, E., Golkocheva-Markova, E. N., Trandeva-Bankova, D., Gregori, G., Bruni, R., Taffon, S., Angeletti, S., et al. (2018). The genetic diversity of hepatitis A genotype I in Bulgaria. Medicine, 97(3), e9632.

26. Fauquet, C., Fargette, D. (2005). International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses and the 3,142 unassigned species. Virology Journal, 2, 64.

27. Aragones, L., Guix, S., Ribes, E., Bosch, A., Pintó, R. M. (2010). Fine-Tuning Translation Kinetics Selection as the Driving Force of Codon Usage Bias in the Hepatitis A Virus Capsid. PLoS Pathogens, 6(3), e1000797.

28. Jacobsen, K.H., Wiersma, S.T. (2010). Hepatitis A virus seroprevalence by age and world region, 1990 and 2005. Vaccine, 28(41), 6653–6657.

29. Hollinger, F.B., Emerson, S.U. (2007). Hepatitis A virus. In: Knipe DM, Howley PM, editors. Fields virology. 5. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; pp. 911–947.

30. Walker, C.L.F., Perin, J., Aryee, M.J., Boschi-Pinto, C., Black, R.E. (2012). Diarrhea incidence in low- and middle-income countries in 1990 and 2010: a systematic review. BMC Public Health, 12, 220.–2458–12–220

31. Ueki, Y., Shoji, M., Suto, A., Tanabe, T., Okimura, Y., Kikuchi, Y., Saito, N., Sano, D., Omura, T. (2007). Persistence of caliciviruses in artificially contaminated oysters during depuration. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 73(17), 5698–5701.–07

32. Purcell, R.H., Emerson, S. U. Hepatitis E virus. (2001). In: Knipe DM, Howe PM, editors. Fields’ Virology. New York: Raven Press; 2001. pp. 3051–3061.

33. Lewis, H. C., Wichmann, O., Duizer, E. (2010). Transmission routes and risk factors for autochthonous hepatitis E virus infection in Europe: a systematic review. Epidemiology and Infection, 138(2), 145–166.

34. Wichmann, O., Schimanski, S., Koch, J.V., Kohler, M.G., Rothe, C., Plentz, A., Jilg, W., Stark, K. (2008). Phylogenetic and casecontrol study on hepatitis E virus infection in Germany. The Journal of infectious diseases, 198(12), 1732–1741.

35. Colson, P., Borentain, P., Queyriaux, B., Kaba, M., Moal, V., Gallian, P., Heyries, L., Raoult, D., Gerolami, R. (2010). Pig liver sausage as a source of hepatitis E virus transmission to humans. The Journal of infectious diseases, 202(6), 825–834.

36. Tei, S., Kitajima, N., Takahashi, K., Mishiro, S. (2003). Zoonotic transmission of hepatitis E virus from deer to human beings. The Lancet, 362(9381), 371–373.–6736(03)14025–1

37. Panel on Biological Hazards. (2017). Public health risks associated with hepatitis E virus (HEV) as a food-borne pathogen. EFSA Journal, 15(7), 4886.

38. Aggarwal, R., Jameel, S. (2008). Hepatitis E vaccine. Hepatology International, 2, 308–315.–008–9071–4

39. Aspinall, E. J., Couturier, E., Faber, M., Said, B., Ijaz, S., Tavoschi, L., Takkinen, J., Adlhoch, C. (2017). Hepatitis E virus infection in Europe: surveillance and descriptive epidemiology of confirmed cases, 2005 to 2015. Eurosurveillance, 22(26).–


For citations:

Velebit B. Foodborne viruses — an emerging pathogens. Theory and practice of meat processing. 2020;5(4):18-22.

Views: 415

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 2414-438X (Print)
ISSN 2414-441X (Online)