The effect of high-pressure processing on infectivity of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts recovered from experimentally exposed Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica).J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2005 Nov-Dec; 52(6):500-4.JE
Shellfish have been identified as a potential source of Cryptosporidium infection for humans. The inactivation of Cryptosporidium parvum and other pathogens in raw molluscan shellfish would provide increased food safety for normal and at-risk consumers. The present study identified the efficacy of a non-thermal alternative food-processing treatment, high hydrostatic pressure processing (HPP), on the viability of C. parvum oocysts in the Eastern oysters Crassostrea virginica. Oysters were artificially exposed to 2 x 10(7) oocysts of the Beltsville strain of C. parvum in seawater and subjected to HPP treatments. The effects of the treatments were evaluated by inoculation of the processed oyster tissues into neonatal mice. High-pressure processing of shucked Eastern oysters at all pressures tested (305, 370, 400, 480, and 550 MPa) was significantly effective (P<0.05) in reducing the numbers of positive mouse pups fed treated oyster tissues exposed to C. parvum oocysts. A dose of 550 MPa at 180 s (s) of holding time produced the maximum decrease in numbers of C. parvum positive mouse pups (93.3%). Measurement of tristimulus color values of HPP-treated raw oysters at extended processing times from 120 s to 360 s at 550 MPa showed a small increase in whiteness of oyster meat. This non-thermal processing treatment shows promise for commercial applications to improve safety of seafood and reduce public health risks from cryptosporidiosis.