[Prevalence of Cyclospora sp., Cryptosporidium sp, microsporidia and fecal coliform determination in fresh fruit and vegetables consumed in Costa Rica].Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2004 Dec; 54(4):428-32.AL
The presence of Cyclospora sp., Cryptosporidium sp. and microsporidia and the levels of fecal coliforms were determined in lettuce, parsley, cilantro, strawberries and blackberries acquired in local agricultural markets of the Central Valley of Costa Rica, in order to establish the possible transmission risk of these microorganisms and other pathogens from the consumption of these raw products. During the second semester of 2001 and the first of 2002, 50 different samples of each product, 25 taken in the dry season and 25 in the rainy season and coming from five different local agricultural markets were evaluated. The fecal coliforms count was done according to the technique recommended by Vanderzant & Splittstoesser. The parasite determination was done using Zielh Nielsen and Weber staining techniques from a sediment obtained through the rinse of the mentioned products, using sterile peptonated water 0.1% and centrifuging at 900 G for 15 min. One hundred per cent of vegetable samples had fecal coliforms and the greatest prevalence was obtained during the rainy season. Although all vegetables presented fecal coliforms in high concentrations, lettuce and cilantro presented statistical difference between rainy and dry season, being greater during the rainy season. Fecal coliforms were not detected in strawberries and blackberries probablydue to its low pH. All products evaluated presented, at least once, Cryptosporidium sp., Cyclospora sp. and microsporidia, showing the risk they represent to Public Health. Cryptosporidium was present in all products but strawberries. Microsporidia was present in all products except blackberries and Cyclospora was only isolated from lettuce during the dry season. These results show the importance of introducing in the country Good Agricultural Practices, especially due to the resistance of Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora to disinfecting agents.