Study to tackle norovirus in oysters

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
29 May 2006, at 1:00am

JAPAN - Those who love eating raw oysters may no longer have to worry about the risk of food poisoning as the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry plans to study preventive measures for noroviruses, the main cause of this kind of food poisoning. Researchers will study the process of how the pathogen accumulates in oysters. Based on the findings, they hope to establish measures to predict the level of virus contamination and eventually produce virus-free oysters. Noroviruses grow prolifically in the human intestinal tract and reach the ocean through sewage discharge. The virus then enters oysters through the plankton they digest. The details of this process are not yet well known. Researchers from the Fisheries Research Agency in Yokohama and the Iwate, Miyagi and Hiroshima prefectural governments among others will take part in the three-year study. The prefectures are famous centers for oyster production. Source: Yomiuri