Detection of human intestinal protozoan parasites in vegetables and fruits: a review.
Diarrheal diseases caused by intestinal protozoan parasites are a major food-borne public health problem across the world. Vegetables and fruits provide important nutrients and minerals, but are also common sources of some food-borne human pathogenic microorganisms. The contamination of raw vegetables and fruits with human pathogenic parasites are now a global public health threat, despite the health benefits of these foods in non-pharmacological prophylaxes against diseases. A large number of reports have documented the contamination of vegetables or fruits with human pathogenic microorganisms. In this paper, we reviewed the contamination and detection methods of human pathogenic intestinal protozoans that are frequently recovered from raw vegetables and fruits. The protozoan parasites include Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia duodenalis, Cyclospora cayetanensis, Entamoeba spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Balantioides coli, Blastocystis sp., Cystoisospora belli and Enterocytozoon bieneusi. The risk factors involved in the contamination of vegetables and fruits with parasites are also assessed.
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