Project 3.1 REFHEPA

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


27.University of Barcelona (UB), Spain; 3. Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), also NRL, France; 23. Instituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) NRL Italy; 65. National Institute of Public Health and The Environment (RIVM), The Netherlands; 38. Helsinki University (UH-HI), Finland; NN. Laboratories to validate tests (to be decided).


The objective of the project is

- To develop sensitive, quantitative and standardised ISO (International Standards Organisation) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based methods for the detection of Hepatitis A virus and Norovirus in bivalve molluscan shellfish.


Current published methods are diverse, complex, poorly standardised and restricted to a few specialist laboratories. This project will develop and validate standardised PCR assays for detection of Hepatitis A virus and Norovirus in shellfish to the point at which they could be used successfully in a routine diagnostic context for protection of the European shellfish consumer. Success in this technically challenging and ambitious task requires the collaboration of specialist clinical and research laboratories and specialist shellfish reference laboratories throughout Europe. The research within the project is described in four major blocks of activities.


Read about this and the other projects in RTD Pillar 3 Seafood Safety in the Eurofish magazine article 


Recognizing and controlling health risks of seafood consumption

Major research achievements

The major research achievements are described in the following subpages for each project year:


2004            2005           2006          2007        2008 


Projectleader REFHEPA

Dr. Albert Bosch

UB, Spain