Research – A summary of cryptosporidiosis outbreaks reported in France and overseas departments, 2017–2020

Science Direct

water contamination


Cryptosporidium is a known foodborne pathogen, ranked fifth out of 24 among foodborne parasites in terms of importance and a cause of many cryptosporidiosis outbreaks worldwide. In France, very few outbreaks were reported before 2017, and data recently obtained by the Expert Laboratory of the Cryptosporidiosis National Reference Center (CNR-LE-Cryptosporidiosis) have shown that outbreaks are in fact common and frequently underreported. In this work, we aim to report the characteristics of outbreaks detected in France during the period 2017–2020 and present a summary of investigations carried out by the CNR-LE-Cryptosporidiosis. During the study period, there were eleven cryptosporidiosis outbreaks, including three with no identified origin. Among the eight identified outbreaks: six were due to water contamination (five tap water and one recreational water), one was due to direct contact with infected calves, and one was due to consumption of contaminated curd cheese. Among these outbreaks, five of them exceeded one hundred cases. Recent results obtained by the CNR-LE-Cryptosporidiosis revealed the multiannual occurrence of Cryptosporidium outbreaks in France. Waterborne outbreaks were more frequently detected, while foodborne outbreaks which are more difficult to detect were likely underreported.

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