An Additional Asset for the FLOTAC Technique: Detection of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Vegetables
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Gastrointestinal parasites are considered amongst the most important threats to veterinary and human health worldwide. The transmission of these parasitic diseases usually involves the accidental ingestion of oocysts, cysts, eggs, and larvae, whose detection is generally achieved by classical coproparasitological methods, based on sedimentation and/or flotation techniques. These procedures might be inefficient or display a low sensitivity when performed on food matrices. This study aimed to assess the value of the FLOTAC technique for the detection of different parasitic stages of gastrointestinal parasites of domestic animals in fresh lettuce.
Material and methods
Samples (n = 100) were purchased from public markets located in the metropolitan region of Recife (Brazil).
A total of 79% scored positive for eggs and/or cysts of gastrointestinal parasites. Protozoa and nematodes were detected in 32% (32/100) and 64% (64/100) of samples, respectively, with cysts of the genus Entamoeba (32%) and eggs of nematodes of the order Strongylida (30%) being the most frequently diagnosed.
The findings herein reported demonstrate that the FLOTAC technique can be successfully applied for recovering food-borne parasites of medical and veterinary concern in food matrices.
KeywordsFLOTAC Helminths Vegetables Contamination Entamoeba
Authors would like thank Irma Y. T. López and Raphael Lepold for their support on the laboratory analyses. This article is based on the PhD thesis (Postgraduate Program in Tropical Animal Science) of the first author, developed at the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco.
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