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Laboratory capability in Europe for foodborne viruses.

Abstract

This report describes a survey of national laboratory capabilities of diagnostics and surveillance databases for foodborne viruses among the "Foodborne Viruses in Europe" consortium. All the countries have laboratories that can test for HAV antibody in human serum. Eight of the ten surveyed European countries maintain a national database of HAV cases. Food can be tested for the presence of HAV in Finland, Italy, Spain, France and Denmark. All surveyed countries have at least one laboratory that tests for Norwalk-like virus (NLV) by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and all also have the capability to use electron microscopy. Five countries maintain a national database of NLV cases and nine maintain a national database of NLV outbreaks. Almost all participant countries have laboratories that can test for NLV in food items including shellfish.

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