Hennechart-Collette et al.
Method for tick-borne encephalitis virus detection in raw milk products
Food Microbiol. 2022;104:104003. doi:10.1016/j.fm.2022.104003

TBE virus is most commonly transmitted by tick bites, but occasionally alimentary infections occur via the consumption of non-pasteurized milk or milk products. Recently, such a severe alimentary TBE outbreak with many individuals affected happened in France in 2020 and has been discussed in the Newsletter May 2022.

In consequence of this outbreak, a sensitive and reliable RT-qPCR-based method has been developed to detect TBE virus in dairy products based on ISO 15216, which is a method for the detection of enteroviruses (noroviruses and hepatitis A virus) in high-risk food categories.

To detect the Limit of Detection (LOD), the extraction of TBE virus specific RNA, and for control of a murine norovirus strain from artificially contaminated milk and cheese, was determined, and RT-qPCR inhibitors were assessed.

In this study, the LOD95 value for TBE virus was 2.84 x 104 genome copies per g or per ml. The molecular method described in this study fulfilled the criteria to detect TBE virus in food according to ISO 15216 and could thus be used in routine diagnostic laboratories and to enable potential health risks of non-pasteurized milk and milk products to be assessed.

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