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Category Archives: Cryptosporidiosis
Infections from the Cryptosporidium parasite are continuing to rise in Europe, according to a report published this month by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
Outbreaks associated with food and drink, such as juice, have been reported. The parasites are microscopic and do not make food smell, look or taste unusual.
For 2018, 20 countries reported 14,299 cryptosporidiosis cases, of which 14,252 were confirmed. The number of confirmed patients was more than the 11,435 in 2017. The notification rate for 2018 was higher than in the previous four years from 2014 to 2017.
Germany, Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom accounted for 76 percent of all confirmed cases in 2018, with the UK alone making up 41 percent with 5,820 infections.
- For 2018, 20 European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries reported 14 299 cryptosporidiosis cases, of which 14 252 were confirmed.
- The notification rate was 4.4 confirmed cases per 100 000 population.
- Four countries accounted for 76% of all confirmed cases, with the United Kingdom (UK) alone accounting for 41%.
- As in previous years, most of the cases were reported in autumn (peak in September), but in 2018 a smaller peak was also observed in spring (April).
- Children aged 0–4 years had the highest notification rate of 15.8 cases per 100 000 population.
Research – Is Fresh Produce in Tigray, Ethiopia a Potential Transmission Vehicle for Cryptosporidium and Giardia?
In rural Ethiopia, where people often share their homes with their livestock, infections of humans and animals with Cryptosporidium and Giardia are relatively common. One possible transmission route is consumption of contaminated fresh produce; this study investigated the occurrence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in fresh produce in four districts of rural Tigray in Ethiopia. Fresh produce samples (n = 55) were analysed using standard laboratory procedures. Overall, 15% (8/55) of samples were found to be contaminated. Although contamination levels were mostly low, a few samples had high numbers of Giardia cysts (up to around 70 cysts per 30 g sample). Molecular analyses were largely unsuccessful, but Giardia Assemblage A was identified in one sample. Contamination with these parasites was identified in two of the four districts, but, although a similar pattern has already been described for water contamination, this may be at least partially explained by sampling bias. Nevertheless, we speculate that access to clean water sources may be an important factor for reducing the occurrence of these pathogens. Given the public health and veterinary burden associated with both parasites, the factors which are of importance for their circulation in the communities and environments deserve further investigation. View Full-Text
Record levels of Campylobacter and Salmonella have been recorded in Australia, according to the annual surveillance report of notifiable diseases for 2016.
The data comes from a study published in the most recent edition of the Communicable Diseases Intelligence journal that also found E. coli, Listeria and Cryptosporidium infections had risen.
The role of disease surveillance includes identifying national trends, providing guidance for policy development and resource allocation and informing the response to outbreaks, according to the researchers.
In 2016, gastrointestinal diseases made up 15 percent of total reports for communicable diseases. Notified cases increased by 10 percent to 49,885 in 2016 compared to 2015.
Research – Use of Oxidative Stress Responses to Determine the Efficacy of Inactivation Treatments on Cryptosporidium Oocysts
Cryptosporidium oocysts are known for being very robust, and their prolonged survival in the environment has resulted in outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis associated with the consumption of contaminated water or food. Although inactivation methods used for drinking water treatment, such as UV irradiation, can inactivate Cryptosporidium oocysts, they are not necessarily suitable for use with other environmental matrices, such as food. In order to identify alternative ways to inactivate Cryptosporidium oocysts, improved methods for viability assessment are needed. Here we describe a proof of concept for a novel approach for determining how effective inactivation treatments are at killing pathogens, such as the parasite Cryptosporidium. RNA sequencing was used to identify potential up-regulated target genes induced by oxidative stress, and a reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) protocol was developed to assess their up-regulation following exposure to different induction treatments. Accordingly, RT-qPCR protocols targeting thioredoxin and Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein 7 (COWP7) genes were evaluated on mixtures of viable and inactivated oocysts, and on oocysts subjected to various potential inactivation treatments such as freezing and chlorination. The results from the present proof-of-concept experiments indicate that this could be a useful tool in efforts towards assessing potential technologies for inactivating Cryptosporidium in different environmental matrices. Furthermore, this approach could also be used for similar investigations with other pathogens. View Full-Text
FOLLOWING advice from the Health Service Executive, Irish Water and Mayo County Council have issued a boil water notice for the area supplied by the Clare Island public water supply to protect approximately 165 people following a recent drinking water quality test.
The notice has been put in place due to the detection of cryptosporidium in the Clare Island public water supply.
Cryptosporidium is a tiny parasite found in human and animal waste. If it is swallowed (ingested), it can cause a disease called cryptosporidiosis. The symptoms of cryptosporidiosis include fever, stomach upset, weight loss and diarrhoea.
Cryptosporidium may be found in water if it has been contaminated or if there has been a problem with water treatment.
Tipperary County Council is not aware if the source of the cryptosporidium that has affected Borrisokane water supply has been found, local councillors have been told.
Cllr Ger Darcy had also raised concerns as to whether the pollution could happen again.
Irish Water is installing a UV system to kill any bacteria in the supply and director of water services Jerry Robinson said that hopefully that would be done this month, but warned it was a “work in progress”.
He said the UV system should prevent issues in the future.
Ireland – HPSC provides advice for parents following large increase in incidence of Cryptosporidiosis
The HSE-Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is providing advice to parents about preventing cryptosporidiosis following a large increase in a potentially serious tummy bug in children over the last few weeks.
Since the beginning of March, the number of cases of cryptosporidiosis has more than doubled in comparison to the average rates, especially in small children aged 1 to 4 years of age. When children spend time outdoors and in particular on farms, they are more likely to pick up this bug and it is important they wash their hands regularly with soap under warm running water.
Factsheet to assist parents
Hands should always be washed:
- After using the toilet
- Before eating
- Before preparing food
- After playing, working or being outside (especially on the farm)
- After touching dirty outdoor clothes or boots
- After touching pets, livestock and other animals
It is important to know that:
- Alcohol hand gel will not kill the cryptosporidiosis bug – only soap and warm water will
- Children should not eat food (including sweets and treats) out of doors especially on the farm, or in the open countryside, unless their hands have been cleaned
- Raw (unpasteurised) milk can be contaminated with many harmful infectious diseases including cryptosporidiosis. Young children and pregnant women are at most risk.
- If you have a private well, you should ensure that the water from it is safe. The EPA has advice on protecting your well
Symptoms of cryptosporidiosis generally begin about a week after swallowing the bug, but can start after only a couple of days. The symptoms last about one week (but can last longer). People who are immunocompromised (whose body’s defence system is weak due to a medical condition or because of medication) can have severe symptoms if they catch cryptosporidiosis.
The most common symptom of cryptosporidiosis is watery diarrhoea. Other symptoms include:
- Stomach cramps or pain
- A temperature
Some people with cryptosporidiosis will not get sick at all.
Cryptosporidiosis is spread when the bug passes from the person or animal in the stools or manure, and anything contaminated by the stools or manure (hands, touch surfaces, handles, food, water and outdoor surfaces) can lead to a person becoming infected.