How globalization and climate change could affect foodborne parasites.Exp Parasitol. 2020 Jan; 208:107807.EP
Foodborne parasites, most of which are zoonotic, represent an important human health hazard. These pathogens which include both protozoa (e.g., Cryptosporidium spp., Cyclospora cayetanensis, Toxoplasma gondii) and helminths (e.g., liver and intestinal flukes, Fasciola spp., Paragonimus spp., Echinococcus spp., Taenia spp., Angiostrongylus spp., Anisakis spp., Ascaris spp., Capillaria spp., Toxocara spp., Trichinella spp., Trichostrongylus spp.), have accompanied the human species since its origin and their spread has often increased due to their behavior. Since both domesticated and wild animals play an important role as reservoirs of these pathogens the increase/decrease of their biomasses, migration, and passive introduction by humans can change their epidemiological patterns. It follows that globalization and climate change will have a tremendous impact on these pathogens modifying their epidemiological patterns and ecosystems due to the changes of biotic and abiotic parameters. The consequences of these changes on foodborne parasites cannot be foreseen as a whole due to their complexity, but it is important that biologists, epidemiologists, physicians and veterinarians evaluate/address the problem within a one health approach. This opinion, based on the author's experience of over 40 years in the parasitology field, takes into consideration the direct and indirect effects on the transmission of foodborne parasites to humans.