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Presence of Cryptosporidium Oocysts in Fresh Vegetables

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In Costa Rica, a total of 640 samples from eight different vegetables used for raw consumption were analyzed for the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts, fecal coliforms, and Escherichia coli. Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts were found in 5.0% (4 samples) of cilantro leaves, 8.7% (7 samples) of cilantro roots and 2.5% (2 samples) of lettuce samples. A 1.2% contamination rate was detected in samples of other vegetables (radish, tomato, cucumbers and carrot). Oocysts of this parasite were absent from cabbage. A greater percentage of positive samples was found during the rainy season, and only in cilantro roots and lettuce was a positive linear correlation (P < 0.05) established between the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts and fecal coliforms and E. coli.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departamento Control de Alimentos, Ministerio de Salud, PO Box 10123, San José, Costa Rica 2: Centro de Investigación en Enfermedades Tropicales (CIET), Facultad de Microbiología, Universidad de Costa Rica

Publication date: February 1, 1996

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