Lab Med Online.  2016 Apr;6(2):93-97. 10.3343/lmo.2016.6.2.93.

Detection of Rotavirus from the Inner Surfaces of Domestic Refrigerators

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jaeseok@hallym.or.kr

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Rotavirus is the leading cause of acute viral gastroenteritis, particularly in children, and is transmitted through the fecal-to-oral route by contaminated food or the environment. This study examined the contamination of the inner surfaces of domestic refrigerators with pathogens causing gastroenteritis.
METHODS
Swab specimens from shelf surfaces of freezers and refrigerators were collected from 10 domestic refrigerators. Multiplex PCR for bacterial and viral pathogens causing acute gastroenteritis was performed. The VP7 and VP4 genes of rotavirus were amplified and then analyzed by DNA sequencing.
RESULTS
Rotavirus was detected in five domestic refrigerators in the same apartment complex. All rotavirus samples showed the G1 genotype and the same DNA sequences. No pathogens causing acute gastroenteritis were identified in the other five domestic refrigerators.
CONCLUSIONS
The inner surfaces of domestic refrigerators can be contaminated with pathogens causing acute gastroenteritis, such as rotavirus. Attention should be given to the hygiene of refrigerators. To estimate the contamination or hygienic status for food storage, testing for viral pathogens combined with ordinary bacterial cultures may be necessary.

Keyword

Gastroenteritis; Refrigerator; Contamination; Rotavirus; Foodborne disease; Waterborne disease
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