FDA Grand Rounds: Cyclospora cayetanensis: The crossroads between scientific advances and knowledge gaps—January 10, 2019

FDA Grand Rounds

This presentation will discuss the recent scientific advances that affected the results of the 2018 cyclosporiasis outbreak investigations and the scientific gaps that remain major public health and regulatory challenges for FDA.

Cyclospora cayetanensis has emerged worldwide as a significant foodborne pathogen, causing a diarrheal illness called cyclosporiasis. In the United States, C. cayetanensis has caused large and complex outbreaks, which were mainly linked to consuming imported fresh produce like cilantro. In 2018, multiple outbreaks of cyclosporiasis linked to different produce were identified. The number of outbreak cases was higher than in previous years, with a total of 2,299 laboratory-confirmed, domestically acquired cases of cyclosporiasis reported from 33 states.

The two major cyclosporiasis outbreaks investigated in 2018 were associated with fresh produce vegetable trays produced by Del Monte and a variety of salads sold at McDonald’s restaurants. During the 2018 investigations, both imported and domestic fresh produce samples were tested for the presence of Cyclospora cayetanensis, using a validated laboratory method. These analyses confirmed the presence of the parasite in domestic and imported fresh produce. This was the first time in many years, that FDA has used a validated method to detect C. cayetanensis in foods in support of surveillance assignments and outbreak investigations.

Presented by
Alexandre daSilva, PhD
Senior Biomedical Research Microbiologist
FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Parasitology Laboratory

Thursday, January 10, 2019  
12:00 p.m.‒1:00 p.m.

Learn more and register here.

The FDA Grand Rounds is webcast every other month to highlight cutting-edge research underway across the Agency and its impact on protecting and advancing public health. Each session features an FDA scientist presenting on a key public health challenge and how FDA is applying science to its regulatory activities. The 45-minute presentation is followed by questions from the audience.