Improvements in clinical diagnostics have revealed that the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis sickens approximately 125,000-190,000 Americans each year, with outbreaks generally attributed to fresh produce vehicles.
Once considered a "tropical" parasite, Cyclospora has now been detected in several produce items grown in the United States, and FDA has vocally encouraged growers to take risk mitigation measures as appropriate. However, there are no known mitigation measures, and the approaches used by the produce industry to manage other pathogens do not work for Cyclospora.
Additionally, the current inability to grow the organism in the laboratory limits the ability for researchers to provide answers, curbing the availability of commercial test methods. This presents a dilemma for producers when the marketplace, public and regulators seek assurance that the pathogen is being controlled.
Download technical bulletin on Cyclospora, originally developed by United Fresh