Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia duodenalis and Toxoplasma gondii detection in fresh vegetables consumed in Marrakech, Morocco.Afr Health Sci. 2020 Dec; 20(4):1669-1678.AH
Protozoan parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii, Giardia duodenalis, and Cryptosporidium spp., can be transmitted to humans via accidental consumption of contaminated water, fresh produce and foodstuffs. There is a lack of epidemiological data about these pathogens in Morocco. Hence the aim of this study, which is the determination of their prevalence in some leafy greens and root vegetables sold in Marrakech.
A total of 132 vegetable samples including carrot, coriander, lettuce, parsley and radish were purchased monthly from three different markets in Marrakech from March 2017 to January 2018, pre-treated and subjected to microscopic and molecular analyses.
Of the 132 samples of vegetables analyzed by qPCR, the overall rate of protozoan was 21.21% (28/132); 22 samples were found to be contaminated with T. gondii, 6 with G. duodenalis, and none was positive for C. parvum/hominis. Whereas, modified Ziehl-Neelsen staining allowed the detection of Cryptosporidium spp. in 3% (4/132) of examined samples.
This survey on the presence of protozoan parasites in fresh vegetables revealed that vegetables sold in Marrakech are contaminated by these protozoan parasites, as it showed that leafy green vegetables were more susceptible for parasitic contamination than root ones.