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Isolation and Enumeration of Giardia Cysts, Cryptosporidium Oocysts, and Ascaris Eggs from Fruits and Vegetables

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Published techniques for recovering parasites from fruit and vegetables are generally inadequate, with low and variable recovery efficiencies. Here we describe an improved methodology for analyzing fruit and vegetables for Giardia cysts, Cryptosporidium oocysts, and Ascaris eggs. The method includes washing procedures, sonication, and, for Giardia and Cryptosporidium, immunomagnetic separation. Identification is by immunofluorescence (Giardia and Cryptosporidium) or brightfield microscopy (Ascaris). Recovery efficiencies from lettuce, Chinese leaves, and strawberries were found to be approximately 67% for Giardia, 42% for Cryptosporidium, and 72% for Ascaris. Recovery efficiencies from bean sprouts tended to be more variable and lower. This could be due to material removed with the parasites during the washing procedures, which, in turn, appeared related to the age of the bean sprouts. It is therefore recommended that fruit and vegetables should be as fresh as possible when analyzed for parasites.

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Section of Parasitology, Department of Pharmacology, Microbiology and Food Hygiene, The Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, P.O. Box 8146 Dep., 0033 Oslo, Norway

Publication date: June 1, 2000

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    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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