Category Archives: Parasite

USA – Outbreak Investigation of Cyclospora: Bagged Salads (June 2020) CDC announces the end of the outbreak; FDA continues its investigation.


Investigation Update

September 25, 2020

As of September 25, 2020, CDC has announced this outbreak is over. FDA’s traceback investigation is complete, however the cause or source of the outbreak has not been determined. FDA’s investigation is continuing, in consultation with the state agriculture and regional water board.

FDA investigated multiple farms identified in the traceback, one of which led to sampling and investigation around a farm in south Florida. FDA continues to work with the state of Florida and the local water district to try to determine the source and impact of Cyclospora that was found in the regional water management canal (C-23), located west of Port St. Lucie, Florida. Given the emerging nature of genetic typing methodologies for this parasite in foods and in environmental samples, the FDA has been unable to determine if the Cyclospora detected in the canal is a genetic match to the clinical cases, therefore, there is currently not enough evidence to conclusively determine the source of this outbreak. However, the presence of Cyclospora in a canal that had previously supplied irrigation water in the region, and specifically to a farm identified in the traceback, suggests the need for a collaborative effort by state, federal and industry partners to better define the scope of the contamination and identify appropriate risk mitigation measures.

Previous Updates

Scotland – Drinking Water Quality in Scotland 2019 Private Water Supplies

The Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland (DWQR) ensures that local authorities are meeting their regulatory duties in regard to the quality of private water supplies. DWQR also regulates the quality of water supplied by Scottish Water. The role of DWQR was created by the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002 (“the Act”), which gives the Regulator powers to obtain information. This report fulfils the requirement under the Act that the DWQR publishes a report
on the exercise of the Regulator’s functions during the previous year. This report relates to the calendar year 2019 and is for private water supplies. A similar report on the quality of water supplied by Scottish Water was published on Monday 10 August 2020. Private water supplies (PWS) are drinking water supplies that are not the responsibility of Scottish Water but of their owners and users. PWS regulations are enforced by local authorities. The regulations were revised in October 2017, bringing into force The Water Intended for
Human Consumption (Private Supplies) (Scotland) Regulations 2017 (“the 2017 regulations”). These cover large domestic or commercial supplies. Smaller household PWS (referred to as Type B supplies) continue to be governed by The Private Water Supplies (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (“the 2006 regulations”).

USA/Canada – 1,139 Sickened by Cyclospora in the United States and Canada

1,139 Sickened by Cyclospora in the United States and Canada

727 tied to Fresh Express bagged salads – 412 sick from unknown product.

As of August 26, 2020, 1,102 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 35 jurisdictions, including 34 states and New York City, since May 1, 2020.

The median illness onset date is June 11, 2020 (range: May 1–August 15, 2020). At least 78 people have been hospitalized; no deaths have been reported.

In Canada, as of July 8, 2020, there are 37 confirmed cases of Cyclospora illness linked to this outbreak in three provinces: Ontario (26), Quebec (10) and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Individuals became sick between mid-May and mid-June 2020. One individual has been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between 21 and 70 years of age. The majority of cases (76%) are female.

USA -Cyclospora cases from bagged salad mix continue are on the up.

Food Safety News cardcyclosporasme

The outbreak of parasitic infections linked to Fresh Express bagged salad mix has grown by 49 new laboratory-confirmed cases of Cyclospora, upping the total to 690 people, up from 641.

The latest report is current as of Aug. 12, 2020, and it updates the previous report of July 24, 2020.

Laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infections associated with this outbreak have been reported from 13 states: Georgia (1), Illinois (209), Iowa (206), Kansas (5), Massachusetts (1), Minnesota (86), Missouri (57) Nebraska (55), North Dakota (6), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (2), South Dakota (13), and Wisconsin (45). The ill person from Georgia purchased and ate a bagged salad product while traveling in Missouri.


USA – Texas parasitic outbreak sickens 82; health officials still trying to identify source – Cyclospora

IBT Cyclospora_LifeCycle201

Eighty-two individuals in Texas got sick after suffering from cyclosporiasis, a parasitic infection that causes a range of symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that cyclosporiasis is an illness caused by a microscopic parasite. Fox News reports that the symptoms of this infection include diarrhoea, frequent bowel movements, loss of appetite, bloating, weight loss, stomach cramps, fatigue, and nausea. These symptoms can take up to a week to appear following an infection.

The most common source of the parasite is water or food contaminated by feces. However, public health officials in Austin, Texas are still trying to find out where the intestinal illness came from, which affected Austin-Travis County.

Health officials stated that previously, the source of such an outbreak would either be fruits or vegetables. The most common food sources include basil, cilantro, onions, and raspberries.

In July, the CDC warned multiple states of a cyclospora outbreak from bagged salads. However, Texas was not included in the list.

Research -Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in retail meat samples in Scotland

Science Direct Toxoplasma

Toxoplasma gondii is a globally important zoonotic parasite ranked as one of the most significant causes of disease burden among the major foodborne pathogens. Consumption of undercooked meat is a well-known risk factor for infection so the aim of this study was to investigate the presence of T. gondii in meat samples from retail outlets in Scotland. In Sampling Period 1, 300 meat samples (39 beef, 21 chicken, 87 lamb, 71 pork and 82 venison) were purchased from butchers’, farmers’ markets, farm shops and supermarkets, and in Sampling Period 2, 67 pure venison samples only were purchased from farmers’ markets, farm shops and supermarkets. DNA was extracted and screened for T. gondii using a quantitative PCR targeting the 529 bp repeat element, and any positive samples were genotyped using PCR-RFLP targeting 10 markers. Meat juice was screened for T. gondii antibodies using a commercial ELISA or modified agglutination assay. Toxoplasma gondii DNA was detected in 0/39 (0%) beef samples, 1/21 (4.8%) chicken samples, 6/87 (6.9%) lamb samples, 3/71 (4.2%) pork samples and 29/82 (35.4%; Sampling Period 1) and 19/67 (28.4%; Sampling Period 2) venison samples. Partial PCR-RFLP genotyping revealed both clonal and non-clonal genotypes. Antibodies to T. gondii were detected in the meat juice of 2/38 (5.3%) beef samples, 3/21 (14.3%) chicken samples, 14/85 (16.5%) lamb samples, 2/68 (2.9%) pork samples and 11/78 (14.1%; Sampling Period 1) and 8/50 (16%; Sampling Period 2) venison samples. This is the first study to report the presence of T. gondii in retail meat products in Scotland and has highlighted venison as a potentially high risk meat. Further work is required to determine viability of parasites in this particular meat product.




More than 640 people in 11 US states have been diagnosed with Cyclospora, with the outbreak possibly related to bagged salad products. The bagged salads included iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots. Symptoms of cyclosporiasis, a disease caused by a microscopic parasite, include lack of appetite and weight loss, bloating, nausea, low-grade fever, weakness, and diarrhea. Cases have been recorded in almost a dozen states between May and this month. Of those infected with the multi-state outbreak of Cyclospora, 37 were hospitalized, the Food and Drug Administration said. There were no confirmed deaths.

The outbreak is being investigated by the FDA, the CDC, and the state and local authorities. Cyclospora infections may be linked to salad products manufactured by Fresh Express containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots and distributed in several regions of the United States.

USA – Cyclospora Bagged Salad Outbreak in Iowa Affects 160 – And Authorities are Still Counting

Food Poisoning News

Iowa continues to hold the highest number of cases in the ongoing Fresh Express Bagged Salad Cyclospora Outbreak, compared to the other 7 affected states, with a total of 160 confirmed cases.

Cyclospora, officially known as Cyclospora cayetanensis, is a type of parasite which uses the human gut as its host. The parasite enters the human body by being ingested with fresh fruits, vegetables, or water, at which point the parasite begins to live and multiply in the gut.

Canada- Fresh Express Cyclospora Outbreak Numbers Spike as It Spreads To Canada

Food Poisoning News cardcyclosporasme

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) reports that the investigation of the Fresh Express Bagged Salad Cyclospora Outbreak continues, as the CDC reports increasingly greater numbers of confirmed cases of infection. The last investigation report published by the FDA concerning the Fresh Express Cyclospora Outbreak, on June 28, 2020, accounted for 206 confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection. As of July 8, 2020, the FDA announced that the number of confirmed cases have jumped to a total of 509, across 8 states. Furthermore, health officials report that the outbreak has even stretched across the borders of the U.S. to three provinces of Canada, Ontario (26), Quebec (10) and Newfoundland and Labrador (1).

USA -Fresh Express’s cyclospora outbreak now spans eight states and three provinces

Food Safety News

A troublesome Cyclospora outbreak continues to grow in North America with 37 confirmed cases in Canada added to 206 in the midwest United States. Cyclospora is a coccidian parasite that causes diarrheal disease in humans called cyclosporiasis.

The update today involves an outbreak of Cyclospora infections traced to Fresh Express bagged garden salad products containing lettuce, carrots, and red cabbage.

As of July 8 there are 37 confirmed cases of Cyclospora illness linked to this outbreak in three Canadian provinces: Ontario (26), Quebec (10) and Newfoundland and Labrador (1).  Canadians became sick between mid-May and mid-June.  One Canadian has been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between 21 and 70 years of age. The majority of cases, 76 percent, are female.