Project 3.1 REFHEPA

Development of standard reference methods for hepatitis A virus and Norovirus in bivalve molluscan shellfish

Major achievements in 2007

Further progress has been made towards standardisation and validation of real-time PCR assays for both HAV and NoV. Standardised procedures for HAV using validated control reference material has been fully standardised and validated in a number of partner laboratories. The final standard protocol is being determined to go forward for wider interlaboratory validation. Standardised procedures for NoV have been developed and validated in project partner laboratories. The procedure for NoV genogroup II has performed satisfactorily and will be ready to go forward for interlaboratory validation. However some refinement is required for the procedure for NoV genogroup II but is anticipated that the procedure will shortly be ready to enter the final stage of validation. The next step in the project is to undertake an interlaboratory validation to ISO requirements using controlled ring-trials. These ring trial-validations will be conducted using a number of laboratories involved in the CEN/TC 275/WG6/TAG4 committee (horizontal methods for the molecular detection of viruses in food) which has cooperated closely with REFHEPA throughout the life of the project.