Seafood and diseases

2000/01/01 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

People who like to eat oysters are in luck because they have invented a better test capable of detecting the diseases they can cause. Oysters filter hundreds of liters of water daily and if they filter waste water, they can catch viruses that can cause disease to humans. The number of viruses needed to cause the disease is so small that it is very difficult to detect them.

In addition, oysters contain natural compounds that inhibit the polymerase reaction, making it more difficult to search for viruses, since this reaction is used to generate amounts of viruses capable of causing and detecting the proliferation of DNA and RNA chains of viruses. Researchers at the University of North Carolina have found a way to solve the problem: they remove natural oyster inhibitors through the invented test. The test has given good results in the tests carried out.

The next step is to improve the technique and, if achieved, we will have a method that ensures that contaminated oysters do not reach the market.