Aims: The objective of this study was to det. the presence of infectious hepatitis A virus (HAV) in molluscs naturally contaminated with viral HAV-RNA. Methods and Results: One hundred and forty-two mollusc samples were analyzed for the presence of viral HAV-RNA using RT-nested-PCR; pos. samples were then analyzed with an integrated method, cell-culture RT-PCR, to detect infectious virus. Viral HAV-RNA was detected in 34.5% of the samples while 12.7% of the total samples were pos. for the presence of infectious virus. Conclusions: The results demonstrate the validity of the screening method (RT-nested-PCR) and the necessity of applying a method that is capable of detecting the presence of infectious HAV. Significance and Impact of the Study: The study demonstrates that in any case, to det. the safety for human consumption, the results of RT-nested-PCR must be confirmed with an integrated cell-culture PCR method.