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Research

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Research Call

DAFM Reference

Lead(Collaborating)Institution

DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2015 15F724 UCD (MI) €569,441

Project Title:

Foodborne Viruses in Ireland - farm to fork Investigation, Identifying Risk and mitigation Approaches for Hepatitis E Virus, Hepatitis A Virus, Norovirus & Sapovirus (FoVIRA)

Project Coordinator:

Prof Suzie Coughlan

Project Abstract

Foodborne viruses pose a risk to public health and are a threat to consumer confidence in the safety of Irish food. Recent developments in testing methodologies (including the publication of International Standards for the detection of viruses in food), growing public health, consumer and industry concerns make it feasible and moreover, essential to address current deficiencies in our knowledge about the risk from viral pathogens in the Irish food chain.

The aims of this project are to determine the prevalence and molecular epidemiology of Hepatitis E virus (HEV) in Irish pigs/ pig products and of Hepatitis E virus (HEV), Norovirus (NoV), Sapovirus (SoV and Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) in Irish berries and shellfish and to apply genetic sequencing techniques to investigate the association between viruses identified in the food-chain and those isolated from human infections. A HEV cell culture system will also be established to provide the foundation for future work on HEV inactivation and infectivity studies.

Data generated from this research will contribute to a risk exposure assessment and will be used to identify potential control points and risk mitigation measures for viral foodborne pathogens. This collaborative project also provides a unique opportunity to build national capability in the area of food testing within three leading Irish public laboratories, the National Virus Reference Laboratory, Marine Institute and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory. This capability, and the network of expertise developed, will provide a sustainable foundation for future work to address the emerging threat to food safety and the food industry posed by these enteric viruses.

Final Report:

Not available yet.