• Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis. People can become infected with Cyclospora by consuming contaminated food or water. Past cyclosporiasis outbreaks in the U.S. have been mainly linked to consuming imported fresh produce like cilantro. C. cayetanensis, however, may be an emerging pathogen with an increasing incidence of occurrence and infection.
  • FDA’s investigation of multiple large foodborne outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in 2018 (reported on here) found C. cayetanensis in various domestic and imported fresh produce. And earlier this year, we reported that FDA found Cyclospora in 2 of 141 samples of domestically grown fresh herbs and 4 of 74 samples of imported fresh herbs tested under FDA’s microbial surveillance sampling program.
  • A June 13, 2019 webcast lecture by FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s Lead Parasitologist, Dr. Alexandre da Silva, will explore Cyclospora cayetanensis: The crossroads between scientific advances and knowledge gaps. Scientific gaps that remain major public health and regulatory challenges for FDA will be discussed in the context of the 2018 cyclosporiasis outbreak investigations. Dr. da Silva’s presentation will also discuss FDA’s use of a validated method to detect C. cayetanensis in foods in support of surveillance assignments and outbreak investigations.