Volume 57, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



and are protozoan pathogens that cause prolonged diarrhea in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised hosts. can be transmitted via the fecal-oral route, while the exact mechanisms of transmission of have not been fully determined. Humans appear to be the sole host for the latter and a distinct seasonality has been observed in endemic areas around the world. Samples of vegetables were collected at several small markets in a periurban slum in Peru during the seasons of high and low incidence. The vegetables were washed, the supernatants were collected and centrifuged, and the pellets were resuspended in a solution of 2.5% potassium dichromate. Pellets were examined using direct microscopic observation, acid-fast staining, and immunofluorescent assays for and oocysts. Samples were collected during three time periods: the season of low incidence, the beginning of the season of high incidence, and end of the season of high incidence. Of the total vegetables examined, 14.5% contained oocysts and 1.8% had oocysts. Thus, market vegetables may provide a route by which and can be transmitted. Our study also suggests that washing vegetables does not completely remove and oocysts.


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