Cryptosporidium and Giardia zoonoses: Minimizing health risks from food animal production

K. A. Reynolds, G. D. Di Giovanni, K. D. Mena

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


More than 10 years ago, food-borne pathogens were estimated to cause 76 000 illnesses and 5000 deaths in the USA alone. Given the under-reporting of food-borne illnesses, the numbers of illnesses and deaths associated with food are actually higher. Food-borne pathogens continue to impact public health through worldwide disease outbreaks as they have many opportunities to enter the food chain - from the pre-harvest environment to the consumer. With over half of all disease-causing micro-organisms having the ability to be transmitted zoonotically, food animal production is a key source of pathogens in the farm-to-fork continuum. The protozoan parasites, Cryptosporidium and Giardia, have both been implicated in food-borne disease, and have the potential to be transmitted zoonotically in the farm environment. Farm management strategies have been developed to minimize the transmission of protozoa (from animals) that may infect farm workers, and contaminate nearby waterways and food crops. Such strategies target protecting the health of the herd, preventing (oo)cyst transmission to surface water and vegetable crops, and providing education to animal husbandry personnel and veterinarians on best management practices. To fully address the challenges associated with food safety, post-harvest control measures should also be implemented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalCAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources
StatePublished - 2012


  • Cryptosporidium
  • Farm
  • Giardia
  • Risk management
  • Zoonoses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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