Foodborne viruses such as norovirus and hepatitis A virus cause frequent outbreaks associated with the consumption of raw or undercooked oysters. Viral particles are bioaccumulated in the oyster's digestive glands, making RNA extraction and RT-PCR detection difficult due to the complex nature of the food matrix and the presence of RT-PCR inhibitors. Herein, we have developed a viral RNA extraction protocol from raw oysters using Murine norovirus (MNV) as a surrogate for human noroviruses. The method combines lysis in Tri-Reagent reagent, followed by RNA extraction using Direct-Zol purification columns and lithium chloride precipitation. Viral load quantification was performed by both qRT-PCR and droplet-digital RT-PCR. We have demonstrated that this method can efficiently remove RT-PCR inhibitors, and is sensitive enough to reliably detect viral contamination at 25 PFU/0.2 g. We have also compared the efficiency of this method with the ISO 15216-1:2017 method and Method E developed by Quang and colleagues,...

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