Skip to main content

Determination of the Recovery Efficiency of Cryptosporidium Oocysts and Giardia Cysts from Seeded Bivalve Mollusks

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The intestinal parasites Cryptosporidium and Giardia are transmitted by water and food and cause human gastroenteritis. Filter-feeding bivalve mollusks, such as oysters and mussels, filter large volumes of water and thus concentrate such pathogens, which makes these bivalves potential vectors of disease. To assess the risk of infection from consumption of contaminated bivalves, parasite numbers and parasite recovery data are required. A modified immunomagnetic separation (IMS) procedure was used to determine Cryptosporidium oocyst and Giardia cyst numbers in individually homogenized oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and mussels (Mytilus edulis). About 12% of the commercial bivalves were positive, with low (oo)cyst numbers per specimen. The recovery efficiency of the IMS procedure was systematically evaluated. Experiments included seeding of homogenized bivalves and whole animals with 100 to 1,000 (oo)cysts. Both seeding procedures yielded highly variable recovery rates. Median Cryptosporidium recoveries were 7.9 to 21% in oysters and 62% in mussels. Median Giardia recoveries were 10 to 25% in oysters and 110% in mussels. Giardia recovery was significantly higher than Cryptosporidium recovery. (Oo)cysts were less efficiently recovered from seeded whole animals than from seeded homogenates, with median Cryptosporidium recoveries of 5.3% in oysters and 45% in mussels and median Giardia recoveries of 4.0% in oysters and 82% in mussels. Both bivalve homogenate seeding and whole animal seeding yielded higher (oo)cyst recovery in mussels than in oysters, likely because of the presence of less shellfish tissue in IMS when analyzing the smaller mussels compared with the larger oysters, resulting in more efficient (oo)cyst extraction. The data generated in this study may be used in the quantitative assessment of the risk of infection with Cryptosporidium or Giardia associated with the consumption of raw bivalve mollusks. This information may be used for making risk management decisions.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Laboratory for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology, P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands. 2: National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Laboratory for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology, P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands

Publication date: January 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    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.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more