Reverse Transcriptase PCR Detection of Astrovirus, Hepatitis A Virus, and Poliovirus in Experimentally Contaminated Mussels: Comparison of Several Extraction and Concentration Methods


American Society for Microbiology


Four methods of extraction and three methods of concentration of three enteric viruses from mussels were comparatively evaluated by reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). Shellfish were experimentally contaminated by immersion in seawater seeded with astrovirus, hepatitis A virus, or poliovirus. Sixty-gram samples of mussel tissues were processed by using borate buffer, glycine solution, saline beef, and saline beef-Freon extraction methods. The viruses were concentrated by precipitation with polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG 6000) or PEG 8000 or by organic flocculation. RT-PCR was performed with RNA extracts from crude shellfish extracts and concentrates with and without Sephadex LH20 filtration. The glycine solution and borate buffer extraction methods resulted in significantly more RT-PCR-positive samples than the saline beef extraction method. We assessed the efficiency of 20 combinations of extraction and concentration methods. The borate buffer-organic flocculation, borate buffer-PEG 6000, and glycine solution-PEG 6000 combinations gave RT-PCR-positive results for all 27 samples analyzed for the three viruses. Detoxification of the samples by Sephadex LH20 filtration significantly decreased the efficiency of RT-PCR virus detection.

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