Human noroviruses are the leading cause of foodborne gastroenteritis worldwide and disease outbreaks have been linked to contaminated surface waters as well as to produce consumption. Noroviruses are extremely stable in water and their presence is being detected with increasing frequency, yet there are no viable methods for reducing norovirus contamination in environmental water. Despite this, there is little knowledge regarding the physical and chemical factors that influence the environmental persistence of this pathogen. This study evaluated the impact of common chemical and physical properties of surface water on the stability of murine norovirus and examined the effect of food-safe chitosan microparticles on infectivity of two human norovirus surrogates. While chemical additives had a minor impact on virus survival, chitosan microparticles significantly reduced infectious titers of both murine norovirus and MS2 bacteriophage.
Keywords: antiviral treatment; chitosan microparticles; disinfection; enteric virus; food safety; norovirus; public health; surface water; surrogates.