Presence, viral load and characterization of Torque teno sus viruses in liver and pork chop samples at retail.

Leblanc, D., Houde, A., Gagné, M.-J., Plante, D., Bellon-Gagnon, P., Jones, T.H., Muehlhauser, V., Wilhelm, B.J., Avery, B., Janecko, N., and Brassard, J. (2014). "Presence, viral load and characterization of Torque teno sus viruses in liver and pork chop samples at retail.", International Journal of Food Microbiology, 178, pp. 60-64. doi : 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2014.03.005  Access to full text


Torque teno viruses (TTV) are widespread in humans, swine as well as in several other animal species. In market ready swine, the reported prevalence ranges between 11% and 100%. Through a national retail sampling plan from the Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance (CIPARS) program, 283 and 599 liver and pork chop samples, respectively, were collected over a 12-month period from commercial establishments in 5 selected geographical regions of Canada to assess the presence of Torque teno sus viruses (TTSuVs) in these products. TTSuVs were detected in 97.9% of pork chops with viral loads ranging between 1 × 104 and 9.9 × 105 genomic copies (gc)/g and 98.6% of liver samples with viral loads ranging from 1 × 105 to 9.9 × 106 gc/g. A selection of 20 positive samples (10 pork chop and 10 liver) from the 5 geographical regions were further tested for the production, of a 305 bp fragment for TTSuV1 and a 253 bp fragment for TTSuV2 in the non-coding region. TTSuV1 was present in all 10 liver and 10 pork chops samples while TTSuV2 was detected in 10 liver and 9 pork chop samples. Two different TTSuV1 sequences were simultaneously detected from 5 of 20 samples and 2 different TTSuV2 sequences were detected from 6 of 19 samples. The omnipresence of TTSuVs in commercial pork samples may allow its use as a viral indicator to monitor the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfecting process in slaughtering, cutting, slicing and packaging facilities.

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