Chapter 8 : Binding and Inactivation of Viruses on and in Food, with a Focus on the Role of the Matrix

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This chapter provides a review of factors that are known to affect the binding of enteric viruses to different food matrices and that affect the persistence and survival of the virus once it is food associated, with an emphasis on foods that are contaminated by food handlers before the preparation stage. The complex surfaces of fresh fruits and vegetables, including cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce, may also decrease desiccation effects that lead to virus inactivation. The addition of food additives, such as sodium bisulfite or ascorbic acid, may also increase virus inactivation. However, limited experimental data are available on the effects of sunlight on the survival of enteric viruses in the environment or on foods. High-hydrostatic-pressure processing (HHP) efficiently inactivates enteric viruses suspended in buffer, but the inactivation rates are affected by treatment temperature and virus strain. The inability to remove or inactivate enteric viruses from contaminated foodstuffs leads inevitably to human disease in some susceptible consumers. Enteric viruses bind to food matrices by a variety of mechanisms, including ionic and hydrophobic interactions, van der Waals forces, interaction with specific ligands (e.g., receptors), and uptake into plants. A better understanding of the interaction between pathogenic enteric viruses and different food matrices should lead to enhanced measures to remove or inactivate these viruses and ultimately to improved food safety.

Citation: Le Guyader F, Atmar R. 2008. Binding and Inactivation of Viruses on and in Food, with a Focus on the Role of the Matrix, p 189-208. In Koopmans M, Cliver D, Bosch A, Doyle M (ed), Food-Borne Viruses. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815738.ch8

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Hepatitis E virus
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Single-Stranded RNA Viruses
Viral Structural Proteins
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Figure 1

Environmental sources of contamination for food (vegetables and shellfish). Food may be contaminated directly by sewage, rivers, or fertilizers. Climate events such as rain, sunshine, and temperature may affect virus behavior before harvesting.

Citation: Le Guyader F, Atmar R. 2008. Binding and Inactivation of Viruses on and in Food, with a Focus on the Role of the Matrix, p 189-208. In Koopmans M, Cliver D, Bosch A, Doyle M (ed), Food-Borne Viruses. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815738.ch8
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Figure 2

Factors influencing the probability that viruses will bind to food.

Citation: Le Guyader F, Atmar R. 2008. Binding and Inactivation of Viruses on and in Food, with a Focus on the Role of the Matrix, p 189-208. In Koopmans M, Cliver D, Bosch A, Doyle M (ed), Food-Borne Viruses. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815738.ch8
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Generic image for table
Table 1

Effects of different physical factors on virus inactivation in shellfish

Citation: Le Guyader F, Atmar R. 2008. Binding and Inactivation of Viruses on and in Food, with a Focus on the Role of the Matrix, p 189-208. In Koopmans M, Cliver D, Bosch A, Doyle M (ed), Food-Borne Viruses. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815738.ch8
Generic image for table
Table 2

Selected outbreaks linked to prepared foods

Citation: Le Guyader F, Atmar R. 2008. Binding and Inactivation of Viruses on and in Food, with a Focus on the Role of the Matrix, p 189-208. In Koopmans M, Cliver D, Bosch A, Doyle M (ed), Food-Borne Viruses. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815738.ch8

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