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9th July 2024  Content supplied by: Primerdesign Ltd

Primerdesign Launches Real-time PCR Workflow for Onsite Detection of Norovirus in Oysters


  • The kit uses a quantitative PCR assay to detect genogroup (G)I and GII Norovirus pathogens in oyster tissue.
  • The kit is user-friendly and cost-effective, reducing public health risk and minimizing shellfish farm closures.
  • The kit is designed to detect Norovirus GI and GII genomes in oysters, with detection down to 500 copies/gram.

Primerdesign (part of the Novacyt Group), a company focussed on the design, manufacture, validation and supply of real-time PCR kits and reagents, has launched the genesig® Easy_oys Detection Kit for Norovirus in oysters. The quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay enables rapid and reliable detection of genogroup (G)I and GII Norovirus pathogens in oyster tissue. The user-friendly workflow offers a cost-effective solution that can be used on site to identify the contamination points across the production line, helping to reduce public health risk and minimise shellfish farm closures.

Norovirus is a major cause of viral gastroenteritis and foodborne transmission is responsible for an estimated 16% of cases in the UK*. Human sewage discharge around oyster beds results in bio-accumulation of the virus in their digestive glands, with more than 500 genome copies/gram of Norovirus GI / GII presenting a major risk of infection when consumed by humans.

There is a growing need for methods to detect and quantify viruses in bivalve shellfish to control and risk manage potential outbreaks and spread. The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in England and the Marine Institute in the Republic of Ireland, the only ISO 15216-accredited laboratories for PCR quantification of Norovirus in oysters in the British Isles, currently perform a limited number of tests from each grower due to resource constraints. This jeopardises food safety, and farms are at risk of closure if a Norovirus outbreak is linked to their oysters.

Quantitative PCR methods offer a fast and accurate means of screening water and food. The genesig Easy_oys Norovirus kit is a qPCR assay optimised for the quantitative detection of Norovirus GI and GII genomes in the digestive tissue of oysters. The highly sensitive kit demonstrated detection of both GI and GII down to 500 copies/gram, making it a suitable risk management tool to ensure that oysters with high infection risk are detected. The kit includes all the reagents needed to conduct viral testing in line with the ISO 15216 guidelines, without any prior lab experience. The complete testing workflow, including the exisgMag extraction kit, genesig Easy_oys Norovirus kit, and the genesig q16 instrument, delivers results within four hours. It was developed in collaboration with oyster farmers and the Shellfish Association of Great Britain, providing them with an easy-to-use and accessible tool to rapidly assess the food safety risk and give them confidence in the quality of their oysters.

For further information about Primerdesign’s genesig Easy_oys Detection Kit for Norovirus in oysters, please visit Primerdesign or use the request information button below to contact the company.


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Date Published: 9th July 2024

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