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Manure- and Biosolids-Resident Murine Norovirus 1 Attachment to and Internalization by Romaine Lettuce

Wei, Jie, Jin, Yan, Sims, Tom, Kniel, Kalmia E.
Applied and environmental microbiology 2010 v.76 no.2 pp. 578-583
Norovirus, animal behavior, biosolids, dairy manure, fresh produce, mice, microscopy, pig manure, risk, romaine lettuce, stems, stomata, viruses
The attachment of murine norovirus 1 (MNV) in biosolids, swine manure, and dairy manure to Romaine lettuce and internalization of this virus were evaluated. The MNV in animal manures had behavior similar to that of pure MNV; however, MNV in biosolids had significantly higher levels of attachment and internalization than pure MNV or MNV in manures. The incubation time did not affect the attachment of MNV in biosolids or manure. Confocal microscopy was used to observe MNV on lettuce after SYBR gold-labeled MNV was added directly to lettuce or after lettuce was submersed in labeled virus. MNV was observed on the lettuce surface, inside open cuts, and occasionally within stomata. In general, lettuce pieces with a long cut on the edge and short cuts on the stem was more likely to contain internalized MNV than intact lettuce pieces, as observed by confocal microscopy; however, while the difference was visible, it was not statistically significant. This study showed that the presence of MNV in biosolids may increase the risk of fresh produce contamination and that the MNV in open cuts and stomata is likely to be protected from sanitization.