Overview of Food-and Water-Borne Zoonotic Parasites at the Farm Level

  • Gajadhar A
  • Scandrett W
  • Forbes L
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Abstract

Zoonotic parasites found in food animals include a wide variety of protozoa, nematodes, trematodes, and cestodes. Many of these parasites are emerging or already occur globally due to changes in farming practices and the increased movement of animals, food, and people. Some of the emerging or ubiquitous parasites, including Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, Trichinella, and Taenia, present enormous risks to global food production and consumer health. The parasite life cycle stages, such as eggs, oocysts, and cysts, typically resist adverse temperatures, desiccation, natural irradiation, chemicals, and disinfectants that are commonly used for controlling bacteria and viruses. Other important parasites include trematodes such as Clonorchis and Paragonimus, which are transmitted via fish or crustaceans and cause serious human disease in specific regions of the world. The potential for global occurrence of these parasites is increasing. Control of zoonotic parasites at the producer level requires education and the development and implementation of effective measures to eliminate the contamination of agricultural water and feed with viable stages of parasites. Standardisation, implementation, and documentation of control measures should increase confidence in global food trade.

Author-supplied keywords

  • control
  • cysticercosis
  • food safety
  • parasites
  • taenia saginata
  • taenia solium
  • toxoplasma gondii
  • trichinella
  • zoonosis

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Authors

  • A A Gajadhar

  • W B Scandrett

  • L B Forbes

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