Environmental accumulation of parasitic pathogens in biofilms in an endemic location
MetadataShow full item record
Cyclospora, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium are among the main protozoan parasites of concern for the food industry, biofilms can serve as a reservoir for these parasites. Biofilms were collected from surfaces in contact with agricultural waters in an endemic area for Cyclospora cayetanensis. Samples were collected monthly over a seven month period at the same locations and processed for molecular analysis. Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora were detected using nested PCR-RFLP using the 18S ribosomal RNA as a target gene. Cryptosporidium and Giardia were detected by staining with fluorescence-labeled monoclonal antibodies (IFA). Analysis of 178 samples resulted in 4 positive Cyclospora samples. Nineteen samples were positive for Cryptosporidium spp. by IFA and 4 by nPCR. Giardia spp. was identified in 70 samples by IFA and 47 by PCR. This study demonstrates the biofilms formed on surfaces in water used for agricultural purposes can serve as a reservoir for protozoan parasites.