02 Dec 2022
30 Nov 2022
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) and Norovirus (NoV) are two enteric viruses responsible for mild or acute gastroenteritis and hepatitis. These viruses are known for their resistance to environmental conditions, and transmitted by the consumption of contaminated water. Shellfish produced close to land can bioaccumulate enteric viruses of human and animal origin, including zoonotic hepatitis E virus that infect both human and swine. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) represents one of the principal causative agents of hepatitis, and norovirus (NoV) is the first causative agent of childhood gastroenteritis in the world, globally causing huge healthcare-associated economic losses. The aim of this study was to evaluate HEV and NoV contamination in samples of mussels (Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758) in coastal area of Mohammedia. Indeed 48 batches of samples of blue mussels (n=576 mussels) were collected from three points of at the mouth of the Oued El Maleh were analyzed for the detection of HEV and NoV using RT-PCR in real time. Overall, one (2%) of these samples tested positive for HEV RNA and thirteen (27%) for NoV. To our knowledge, this is the first notification of the detection of HEV and NoV in mussels collected in the mouth of Oued El Maleh. These findings suggest that a health risk may exist for users of waters in the the coast of Mohammedia and to consumers of shellfish. Monitoring HEV and NoV and similar viruses in shellfish can help prevent viral contamination. Further research is needed to assess the sources and infectivity of HEV in these settings, and to evaluate additional shellfish harvesting areas.