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Culture Collections

Reference materials for norovirus and hepatitis A virus


Reference materials for norovirus and hepatitis A virus - HOMEPAGE


Norovirus infections (also known as winter vomiting disease), and hepatitis A infections are often caused by people unknowingly eating contaminated bivalve molluscs such as mussels and oysters.  This can happen when the bivalve molluscs have been harvested from water polluted with human sewage.  Other food types such as soft fruits and salad leaves can also be a source of infection if they are exposed to contaminated water or handled during production and processing by people infected with these viruses.  To help food, water and environmental testing laboratories ensure their test procedures are effective, PHE’s Culture Collections, in partnership with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), provide norovirus and hepatitis A reference materials (RMs) in LENTICULE disc format.        

These RMs for norovirus (genogroups I and II) and hepatitis A virus can be used as in-run positive extraction controls for quantitative molecular assays such as real time RT-PCR and for method calibration and characterisation. They are also suitable for use in qualitative conventional or semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis.


The norovirus and hepatitis A RMs in LENTICULE disc format can be used for:

  • in-run positive extraction controls for quantitative molecular assays such as real time RT-PCR
  • method calibration and characterisation
  • use as positive controls in semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis


  • contain defined concentrations of norovirus or hepatitis A virus
  • long term stability and statistically proven batch homogeneity
  • quality controlled by Cefas laboratory at multiple manufacturing stages
  • additional quality control undertaken through to expiry date

Additional Benefits:

  • easy to use
  • save time – no dilutions required
  • one step process – removing a potential source of error
  • provide quantitative values expressed as genome copies per volume assisting in between run repeatability and greater accuracy

The RMs were developed in parallel with the two part ISO/CEN standard - ISO/TS 15216:2013. Microbiology of food and animal feed - Horizontal method for determination of hepatitis A virus and norovirus in food using real-time RT-PCR which was developed byTAG4 of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN).

The RMs are supplied with a certificate of analysis which gives reference values. These values are generated using a real time RT-PCR using Cefas’ ISO 17025 accredited procedures for virus quantification based upon ISO/TS 15216-1 (Method for Quantification).


Virus RMs in LENTICULE disc format available:

Hepatitis A virus (HAV)
Norovirus GI
Norovirus GII


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