Food Virology Laboratory

Norovirus, credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Image Library
Dr. Neda Nasheri

Research scientist: Dr. Neda Nasheri

See publications on
Microbiology Research Division
Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Health Canada
Research technical support: Jennifer Harlow

Research activity

In our laboratory we mainly focus on detection, genomic characterization, and inactivation of foodborne viruses such as norovirus, hepatitis A virus, hepatitis E virus, etc. We also participate in surveillance programs designed to identify and characterize enteric viruses in Canada. The aim of these studies is to understand the epidemiology of foodborne viral infections and their transmission through food, environment and population. Furthermore, we study survival and inactivation of these viruses in diverse food commodities and under different conditions. We use these data to provide advice on appropriate safety measures to prevent and control food contamination and potential illnesses.

Current research activity:

  • Developing methods for the detection of foodborne viruses
  • Performing genomic characterization of foodborne viruses
  • Exploring novel inactivation methods and approaches
  • Tracing reservoirs for transmission of enteric viruses in foods.
  • Leading the Food Virology Reference Centre for Canada (FVRC)

Related links

Food Virology Reference Centre for Canada

The FVRC for Canada is housed within our Food Virology laboratory, in the Microbiology Research Division of the Bureau of Microbial Hazards. For more details on the FVRC, visit: Food Virology Reference Centre for Canada.

Food & Environmental Virology Network

The Food and Environmental Virology Network aims to support communication and collaboration between food and environmental virology laboratories. For more details on FEVN, visit: Food and Environmental Virology Network.

Recent publications

  1. Tan J, Harlow J, Cecillon J, Nasheri N. Assessing the efficacy of different bead-based assays in capturing hepatitis E virus. Journal of Virological Methods.324:114860.
  2. Geissler M, Brassard D, Adam N, Nasheri N, Pilar A, Clime L, Miville-Godin C, Nassif C, Malic L, Corneau N, Veres T. Centrifugal microfluidic lab-on-a-chip system for colorimetric sample-to-answer detection of viral pathogens. Lab on a Chip. DOI: 10.1039/D3LC00904A
  3. Plante D, Bran Barrera J A, Lord M, Iugovaz I, Nasheri N. Examining the Efficiency of Porcine Gastric Mucin-Coated Magnetic Beads in Extraction of Noroviruses from Frozen Berries. Food Microbiology 120: 104461
  4. Robinson SJ, Borlang J, Himsworth CH, Pearl D L, Weese JS, Lindsay LR, Dibernardo A, Osiowy C, Nasheri N, and Jardine CM. Detection of rat hepatitis E virus (Rocahepevirus ratti genotype C1) in Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) from southern Ontario, Canada. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 29(9):1648
  5. Ahmed R, Nasheri N. 2023. Animal reservoirs for hepatitis E virus within the Paslahepevirus genus. Veterinary Microbiology. 278:109618
  6. McLeod M, Belford G, Harlow J, Nasheri N. 2022. Examining the Effect of Organic Acids on Inactivation of Hepatitis E Virus. Journal of Food Protection. 85(12):1690
  7. Dallner M, Harlow J, Nasheri N. 2022. Efficacy of Washing Produce in Removing Human Coronavirus OC43 and Murine Norovirus. Journal of Applied Microbiology. doi: 10.1111/jam.15667
  8. Harlow J, Dallner M, Nasheri N. 2022. Protective Effect of Food Against Inactivation of Human Coronavirus OC43 by Gastrointestinal Fluids. Food and Environmental Virology. 14 (2):212
  9. Flint A, Reaume S, Harlow J, Hoover E, Weedmark K, Nasheri N. 2021. Genomic analysis of human noroviruses using combined Illumina-Nanopore data. Virus Evolution. 7 (2), veab079
  10. Plante D, Bran Barrera JA, Lord M, Iugovaz I, Nasheri N. 2021.Development of an RNA Extraction Protocol for a Norovirus from Raw Oysters and Detection by qRT-PCR and Droplet-Digital RT-PCR. Foods.10 (8):1804.
  11. Dallner M, Harlow J, Nasheri N. 2021. Human coronaviruses do not transfer between surfaces in the absence of organic materials. Viruses. 13 (7):10.3390
  12. Blondin-Brosseau M, Harlow J, Doctor T, Nasheri N. 2021 Examining the persistence of human Coronavirus 229E on fresh produce. Food Microbiology. 98:103780
  13. Nasheri N, Harlow J, Chen A, Douglas A, Corneau N, Bidawid S. 2021. Survival and inactivation of enteric viruses in low moisture foods. Food and Environmental Virology 13:107
  14. O'Brien B, Goodridge L, Ronholm J, Nasheri N. 2021. Exploring the potential of foodborne transmission of respiratory viruses. Food Microbiology 95:103709
  15. Nasheri N, Harlow J, Chen A, Corneau N, Bidawid S. 2021. Survival and Inactivation by Advanced Oxidative Process of Foodborne Viruses in Model Low-Moisture Foods. Food Environmental Virology.13(1):10
  16. Nasheri N, Doctor T, Chen A, Harlow J, Gill A. 2020. Evaluation of High-Pressure Processing in Inactivation of the Hepatitis E Virus. Frontiers in Microbiology.11:461
  17. Nasheri N, Harlow J, Chen A, Corneau N, Bidawid S. 2019. Evaluation of Bead-Based Assays in the Isolation of Foodborne Viruses from Low-Moisture Foods. Food Protection 83(3):388
  18. Nasheri N, Verster A, Petronella. Persistence and transmission of pathogenic enteric viruses in frozen produce. Epidemiology & Infection 147, e291
  19. Suresh M, Harlow J, Nasheri N. 2019. Evaluation of Porcine Gastric Mucin Assay for Detection and Quantification of Human Norovirus in Fresh Herbs and Leafy Vegetables. (in preparation). Food Microbiology 84:103254
  20. Petronella P, Ronholm J, Suresh M, Harlow J, Myckytczuk O, Corneau N, Bidawid S, Nasheri N. 2018. Genetic characterization of norovirus GII.4 variants circulating in Canada using a metagenomic technique. BMC Infectious Diseases. 18(1):521
  21. Mykytczuk O, Harlow J, Bidawid S, Corneau N, Nasheri N. 2017. Prevalence and molecular characterization of the hepatitis E virus in retail pork products marketed in Canada. Food and Environmental Virology. 9(2):208-218
  22. Nasheri N, Ronholm J, Petronella N, Bidawid S, Corneau N. 2017. Characterization of the genomic diversity of norovirus in linked patients using a metagenomics deep sequencing approach. Frontiers in Microbiology 8:73
  23. Ronholm, J. Nasheri, N. Petronella, N, Pagotto F. 2016. Navigating microbiological food safety in the era of whole genome sequencing. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 29(4):837-857

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