Primerdesign launches rapid Norovirus detection kit for oysters

Primerdesign, a subsidiary of the Novacyt Group, has unveiled a new quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay for the swift and reliable detection of Norovirus in oysters. The genesig® Easy_oys Detection Kit targets both genogroup I and II Norovirus pathogens in oyster tissue, offering a user-friendly and cost-effective solution for on-site contamination screening.


Addressing a critical food safety concern

Norovirus, a primary cause of viral gastroenteritis, is responsible for an estimated 16% of foodborne transmission cases in the UK. Oysters are particularly susceptible to Norovirus contamination due to bioaccumulation in their digestive glands, with concentrations exceeding 500 genome copies/gram posing a significant infection risk to consumers.

The need for rapid, accessible testing methods has become increasingly apparent, as resource constraints limit the number of tests performed by ISO 15216-accredited laboratories. This situation has left food safety vulnerable and oyster farms at risk of closure in the event of a Norovirus outbreak.

Technical specifications and workflow

The genesig Easy_oys Norovirus kit boasts high sensitivity, capable of detecting both GI and GII Norovirus down to 500 copies/gram. This level of precision makes it a suitable risk management tool for identifying oysters with high infection potential. The complete testing workflow, which includes the exisgMag extraction kit, the Norovirus detection kit, and the genesig q16 instrument, delivers results within four hours.

Notably, the kit was developed in collaboration with oyster farmers and the Shellfish Association of Great Britain, ensuring its practicality and relevance to industry needs.

David Jarrad, CEO of the Shellfish Association of Great Britain

David Jarrad, CEO of the Shellfish Association of Great Britain

Industry reception and implications

The launch of this testing kit has been met with enthusiasm from industry stakeholders. David Jarrad, CEO of the Shellfish Association of Great Britain, highlighted the pressing need for such technology, stating, “This is much needed by our industry, as we strive to ensure we market a nutritious, wholesome and, crucially, safe product.”

Gary Wordsworth, founder of Othniel Oysters, emphasised the kit’s potential impact on quality assurance: “I am delighted that this kit is now available as it enables us to test every batch that we send out and reassure our customers that our product is safe.”

The introduction of this rapid, on-site testing capability represents a significant advancement in oyster safety management. By empowering farmers to conduct frequent, timely tests, the industry can potentially reduce public health risks and minimise farm closures due to Norovirus outbreaks.

As the aquaculture sector continues to face challenges related to water quality and pathogen control, innovations like the genesig Easy_oys Detection Kit may prove instrumental in maintaining consumer confidence and supporting the sustainable growth of the oyster industry.

Request information

Get in touch directly with the above supplier

Your email address will not be communicated to any third party other than the above supplier for the purpose of fulfilling this enquiry. For more information: read our privacy policy.

I’m interested in:

This contact form is deactivated because you refused to accept Google reCaptcha service which is necessary to validate any messages sent by the form.