About this Research Topic
Foodborne outbreaks caused by human enteric viruses, particularly human norovirus and hepatitis A virus, are of concern to global public health and agriculture. Despite accounting for the major causes of foodborne outbreaks in high-income countries, human enteric viruses have received comparatively less attention than other foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Escherichia coli. To date, almost 150 different types of human enteric viruses are known, which cause a variety of illnesses in humans, mainly gastroenteritis (such as human noroviruses, rotaviruses, astroviruses, and sapoviruses). They may also cause diverse additional disorders, such as hepatitis, poliomyelitis, or meningitis, even if reported to a lesser extent. Increasing attention is needed towards emerging viruses (Hepatitis E virus, Aichi virus, Sapovirus) that represent underestimated risks along the food chain. Since these viral pathogens are mainly transmitted by the fecal-oral route, contaminated food products, such as shellfish, leafy greens, and berries, are the main food products associated with viral foodborne outbreaks. The low infectious dose of most human enteric viruses, together with their high stability in the environment, make them extremely infectious and highly transmissible. From a food safety perspective, human enteric viruses tend to be more resistant than foodborne bacteria to inactivation by traditional and emerging food manufacturing processes. In such scenarios, the prevention of viral contamination by good hygienic, agricultural, and manufacturing practices remains the main pursued strategy. However, the application of food processing technologies helps to reduce the viral contamination of raw food products and to minimize the risk of cross and/or recontaminations, in line with the principles of the hurdle technology.
The current Research Topic aims to publish original research articles, reviews, perspectives and opinions on studies investigating the efficacy of different food processing technologies (e.g. thermal, high-pressure processing, radiation, washing, shellfish depuration, antiviral packaging and coatings) on human enteric viruses or their surrogates. We specifically welcome manuscripts assessing the effect of combined food processing technologies on human enteric viruses. Manuscripts investigating viral persistence, stability in food and water matrices, as well as food contact surfaces will also be supported.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.