Category Archives: Parasite

USA – Cyclospora cases top 1000 in the US, 36 states reporting cases

Outbreak News Today

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 156 additional Cyclospora cases in the past month, putting the total cases since May 2021.

The 1,020 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis were reported in people who had no history of international travel during the 14-day period before illness onset. Cases have been reported in 37 jurisdictions, including 36 states and New York City.

Seventy people required hospitalization for their illness.

Canada – Cyclospora investigation overview



Cyclospora investigation overview (as of July 30, 2021)

Each spring and summer, Canada sees an increase in non-travel related Cyclospora illnesses reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). PHAC is working with its public health and food safety partners to identify possible ways infections are occurring in Canada. Previous Cyclospora illnesses have been linked to various types of imported fresh produce, including pre-packaged salad mix, basil, cilantro, berries, lettuce, and snow and snap peas. Learn more about the causessymptoms and risks of infection, as well as how to prevent and treat an illness.

At a glance
Investigation status Ongoing
Case count 48
  • British Columbia (2)
  • Ontario (37)
  • Quebec (9)
Hospitalizations 1
Deaths 0
Gender 22 males
26 females
Age range in years 13 – 91
Recall NO
Public Health Notice NO

USA – CDC announces 208 confirmed Cyclospora cases with no clear common source

Food Poison Journal


As of July 13, 2021, 208 laboratory-confirmed cases of cyclosporiasis in people who had no history of international travel during the 14-day period before illness onset have been reported to CDC by 23 jurisdictions, including 22 states and New York City.

The median illness onset date is June 17, 2021 (range: May 1, 2021–July 3, 2021).

At least 21 people have been hospitalized; no deaths have been reported.

USA – FDA Releases Cyclospora Prevention, Response and Research Action Plan



As part of our ongoing efforts to combat foodborne illness and aligned with our New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative, today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released the Cyclospora Prevention, Response and Research Action Plan. Modeled after our Leafy Greens Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) Action Plan, the plan focuses on improving prevention, enhancing response activities and filling knowledge gaps in order to help prevent Cyclospora contamination of foods and to help prepare for responding to future outbreaks.

Cyclosporiasis is a foodborne intestinal illness caused by Cyclospora cayetanensis. The most common symptoms of cyclosporiasis are diarrhea, weight loss, nausea and fatigue. Cyclospora is historically associated with imported produce or travel outside the U.S.; however, we have also detected Cyclospora in domestically produced foods in recent years.

The FDA first documented Cyclospora in domestically grown produce (cilantro) in 2018 as part of an ongoing sampling assignment of fresh herbs. The testing was done as part of a surveillance sampling, and the cilantro sample was not linked to any illnesses or outbreaks. Not long after, domestically grown produce was again associated with an outbreak linked to a salad mix. During the FDA’s investigations into this outbreak, Cyclospora was also detected in an unused package of the salad containing domestically grown produce.

The availability of new testing methods for Cyclospora developed at the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition played an important role in helping the FDA identify these positive samples of Cyclospora in the cilantro and in the salad mix. The number of reported cases of this foodborne illness has been rising in recent years, in part because of better diagnostic and detection methods. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been roughly 6,000 domestically acquired cases of Cyclospora over the last three years. The number of reported cases typically rises during the spring and summer, usually in May, June and July. Rising case numbers and the emergence of Cyclospora contamination in domestically grown produce prompted the FDA to create the Cyclospora Task Force in 2019. The task force is comprised of multidisciplinary experts across the FDA and CDC, with the goal of reducing the public health burden of foodborne illness caused by Cyclospora in produce.

The task force formulated the action plan announced today, which will serve as a strategic guide to improve prevention, enhance response activities and fill knowledge gaps about the presence of Cyclospora in or on foods. In the area of prevention, the new action plan highlights how we’re addressing this food safety issue through the development and delivery of prevention-focused education materials and outreach to stakeholders. We’re also working with industry to encourage the development of rapid test kits to specifically detect Cyclospora to better facilitate industry testing and root cause analysis activities. In addition, we plan to collaborate with industry to look for ways to more effectively control Cyclospora in the environment and on farms.

In the area of response, the plan is focused on expanding laboratory capacity across the FDA, state, foreign partners and academia to sample and test for Cyclospora, providing greater capacity to investigate during outbreak events. The FDA is also developing a new investigational tool to help guide assessments of farms potentially implicated in a Cyclospora outbreak to determine potential sources and routes of contamination.

Given the emerging nature of Cyclospora contamination in domestic produce, a large number of action items in this plan are aimed at addressing knowledge gaps. In this area, the FDA intends to work with CDC to better understand the case distribution of cyclosporiasis across the U.S. and to advance genotyping methods in clinical, food and environmental samples that will allow us to genetically link clinical cases to food products and environments identified by traceback during an outbreak. As part of this plan, the FDA also intends to work with industry and academia to better understand the prevalence of Cyclospora in agricultural water and to encourage data sharing to help stakeholders identify trends associated with Cyclospora contamination. Our action plan underscores the importance of collaboration across industry, academia, state, federal and foreign government partners, and other stakeholders to reduce the risks and public health burden caused by foodborne Cyclospora. We’ll continue updating this plan as actions are completed and new actions are identified.

While the U.S. has one of the safest food supplies in the world, we are focused on making it better. The FDA is focused on working with all stakeholders to achieve the goals identified in this Cyclospora Prevention, Response and Research action plan.

Research – Cyclospora Infection: What to Know



parasite that’s too tiny to see without a microscope can make you ill if you eat or drink the food or water it fouls. The illness is called a cyclospora infection (or cyclosporiasis), and it can bring on problems like watery diarrhea and stomach pain.

About 15,000 people in the U.S. catch it each year, and outbreaks of the infection have been linked to different kinds of imported fresh produce.

Here’s what you need to know to stay safe and lower your chances of catching this bug.  See at the link above.

Canada – Food Recall Warning – Dole brand Fresh Packed Blueberries recalled due to Cyclospora



Recall details

Ottawa, June 25, 2021 – Save-On-Foods LP is recalling Dole brand Fresh Packed Blueberries from the marketplace due to possible Cyclospora contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below.

Recalled products

Brand Product Size UPC Codes
Dole Fresh Packed Blueberries 170 g 0 71430 01150 8 14632
Dole Fresh Packed Blueberries 510 g 0 71430 01154 6 14632
Dole Fresh Packed Blueberries 1 pint 0 71430 01151 5 15032

What you should do

If you think you became sick from consuming a recalled product, call your doctor.

Check to see if you have the recalled products in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

Food contaminated with Cyclospora may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick. People infected with Cyclospora can experience a wide range of symptoms, including watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, and nausea. Some people do not get sick at all, while others suffer from a severe upset stomach. Few people get seriously ill.


This recall was triggered by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) test results. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing the recalled products from the marketplace.


There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Product photos

Printer ready version of photos

  • Dole - Fresh Packed Blueberries
  • Dole - Fresh Packed Blueberries - code

Public enquiries and media

Public enquiries
Toll-free: 1-800-442-2342 (Canada and U.S.)
Telephone: 1-613-773-2342 (local or international)
Media relations
Telephone: 613-773-6600

USA – Fresh Organic Basil Recalled Over Cyclospora Contamination Concerns

Consumer Reports


Shenandoah Growers has recalled 3,240 units of fresh-cut, packaged organic basil because it may be contaminated with the parasite cyclospora.

The problem was found when a sample of the basil, which was imported from Columbia, was found to contain the parasite during a Food and Drug Administration routine test. No illnesses have been reported.

Research – Parasites in food an Invisible Threat


Foodborne parasitic diseases are often neglected in various food safety control systems, even though they can create severe human health problems. Because the production and monetary losses associated with them are often not visible, and the infected animals often show no signs, they are very difficult to detect. Different types of parasitic diseases can be transmitted to humans from pork, fish, freshwater crustaceans, vegetables, eggs of tapeworms and protozoa. The risks associated with all of them can, however, be avoided through the application of good hygiene, farming and fishing practices, and with the promotion of the community awareness. For example, the promotion of a participatory approach and the development of training packages for food businesses operators would be beneficial in raising awareness within the community. Basic information regarding the how the parasites are transmitted and their effects, and any and all preventive measure that each person can take should be included in communication topics. Food safety authorities can play an important part by using the guidance provided by Codex Alimentarius regarding animal production, food processing, and meat inspection. Furthermore, the development of networks of authorities committed to addressing the problem, would help prevent and control the spread of parasitic diseases.

USA – Organic Basil,15 bags – Cyclospora



Product Description: Organic Basil,15 bags, Net. Wt.15Lbs case.

Reason for Recall:Possible contamination with Cyclospora

Product Quantity:280 boxes/4200 pounds

Recall Number:F-0185-2021

Code Information:Lot#LP814

Classification:Class II

Event Details

Event ID:86877

Voluntary / Mandated:

Voluntary: Firm initiated

Product Type:Food

Initial Firm Notification of Consignee or Public:Two or more of the following: Email, Fax, Letter, Press Release, Telephone, Visit


Distribution Pattern:Distributed to direct accounts in VA and FL

Recalling Firm:Vallarta Organics LLC

1 S Prospect Dr
Coral Gables, FL 33133-7003
United States

Recall Initiation Date:11/27/2020

Center Classification Date:12/22/2020

Denmark – Disease outbreaks with rare microsporidia – Enterocytozoon bieneusi.


The Statens Serum Institut and the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration are currently investigating a disease outbreak in a company with a microorganism that has so far not been registered as a cause of disease outbreaks in Denmark. It is a species of microsporidia, Enterocytozoon bieneusi. It is believed that the infection occurred through food.

In October, a company in the metropolitan area reported more than 70 cases of diarrhea among their employees.

The Statens Serum Institut (SSI) has so far found samples from 11 people positive for Enterocytozoon bieneusi, which is a species of microsporidia. It is not a microorganism that we often detect in Denmark, and we have not previously seen disease outbreaks with it.

The infection can cause severe and prolonged diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea. In addition, there may be symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches and fatigue (flu-like). The infection occurs from feces from infected people with poor hygiene to other people either directly or through food and drink.

“There are no registered persons outside the company who should have been infected with E. bieneus. But we urge the country’s physicians to pay attention to patients with prolonged diarrhea for no apparent reason. Especially if it is about immunocompromised people and with particularly long-lasting symptoms, ”says ward doctor Lasse Skafte Vestergaard, SSI. Read more about the disease outbreak with microsporidia  (EPI-NEWS – week 52a – 2020)

Diagrams of Enterocytozoon bieneusi Spore, Life Cycle, and Possible... |  Download Scientific Diagram

Microsporidia are protozoan parasites belonging to the phylum Microsporidia within which exist over 1000 species classified into approximately 100 genera. These eukaryotic obligate intracellular protozoans have been described infecting every major animal group, especially insects, fish, and mammals (Wittner 1999). Microsporidia have been increasingly recognized as opportunistic pathogens of immunodeficient patients (Weber et al. 1994), especially in Aids patients but it is also becoming increasingly common in immunocompetent individuals (Gainzarain et al. 1998, Lores et al. 2001).

Although during the last decade numerous data related to the epidemiology of this infection in humans and animals have been accumulated, implying a zoonotic nature of these parasites, direct evidence of transmission from animals to humans are still lacking (Deplazes et al. 2000).

Encephalitozoon cuniculi is probably the most extensively studied mammalian microsporidian and has been reported to infect a wide range of hosts, including common laboratory rodents as well as human and non-human primates. This is the first microsporidian species infecting humans that has been considered a zoonosis (Deplazes et al. 1996, Didier et al. 1996) .

The first identification of E. intestinalis in mammals other than humans was reported by Bornay et al. (1998) in the faeces of donkeys, dogs, pigs, cow, and goat suggesting that E. intestinalis might also be of zoonotic origin.

Enterocytozoon bieneusi is the most frequent microsporidian found in humans, especially in Aids patients. It has been associated mainly with chronic diarrhoea, although it has been diagnosed in patients with other forms of immunosuppression and in immunocompetent travellers with self-limited diarrhoea (Weber & Bryan 1994, Sobottka et al. 1995). In addition, this pathogen has recently been detected in other natural hosts such as pigs (Deplazes et al. 1996, Breitenmoser et al. 1999, Rinder et al. 2000), cows, goats, pigs, chickens, cats, turkeys (Bornay et al. 1998), rabbits, dogs (del Aguila et al. 1999), and in simian immunodeficiency virus-inoculated monkeys (Tzipori et al. 1997, Mansfield et al. 1997). Consequently, this microsporidian infection may be more common than previously suspected.