Main content area

Comparative Recovery of Two Human Norovirus Surrogates, Feline Calicivirus and Murine Norovirus, with a Wet Vacuum System, Macrofoam-Tipped Swab, and Bottle Extraction Method from Carpets

Buckley, David, Fraser, Angela, Pettigrew, Charles, Anderson, Jeffery, Jiang, Xiuping
Journal of food protection 2018 v.81 no.6 pp. 963-968
Feline calicivirus, Norovirus, foodborne illness, genomics, humans, mice, nylon, outbreak investigation, viruses, wool, United States
Human noroviruses (HuNoV) are the leading cause of known foodborne illness in the United States, but direct detection during outbreak investigations is challenging. On the other hand, sampling both hard and soft environmental surfaces can be used to improve outbreak investigations. Currently, we lack virus recovery methods for soft surfaces, such as carpet, despite evidence suggesting that carpets contribute to HuNoV outbreaks. Our aim was to compare two recovery methods, wet vacuum and swabbing, for routine carpet sampling of HuNoV against a laboratory reference method known as bottle extraction (BE). Specifically, we compared the microbial vacuum (MVAC), macrofoam-tipped swab (MS), and BE by using HuNoV surrogates, feline calicivirus (FCV) and murine norovirus (MNV), inoculated on wool and nylon carpet carriers. The highest recovery of infectious FCV from wool was 5.51, 3.76, and 5.16 log PFU, whereas on nylon, recovery was 5.03, 3.62, and 4.75 log PFU by using BE, MS, and MVAC, respectively. On the other hand, the highest recovery of infectious MNV from wool was 6.10, 4.50, and 5.99 log PFU, while recovery on nylon was 6.07, 4.58, and 6.13 log PFU by using BE, MS, and MVAC, respectively. Significantly more PFU and genomic copies were recovered by using BE and MVAC compared with MS, while buffer type played a significant role in recovery of infectious FCV.