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FDA Update on Cyclospora Research, Prevention and Response

By Food Safety Tech Staff
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The FDA has updated its Cyclospora Prevention, Response and Research Action Plan. The action plan, which was developed in 2021 by the agency’s Cyclospora Task Force, details the FDA’s strategy for reducing the public health burden of foodborne cyclosporiasis in the U.S. and  defines the agency’s priorities for Cyclospora food safety research.

The updated action plan includes refined strategies, a report on accomplishments and three new actions that have been identified by the task force: advancing root cause analyses procedures, building a repository of Cyclospora oocysts that can be used for research and advancing the methods to conduct such research.

This year’s accomplishments cited by the FDA include:

  • Development of a new targeted amplicon genotyping assay for C. cayetanensis that will further aid outbreak and root cause investigations by allowing laboratories to sequence even when low levels of the parasite are detected in the sample.
  • Development of a new fully automated screening assay for the detection of C. cayetanensis in fresh produce, soil and surface agricultural water through a research collaboration between FDA and an independent laboratory.
  • Monthly meetings with stakeholders to discuss food safety, research and share data
  • Technical assistance on research regarding the control of C. cayetanensis on produce and in the environment
  • Expanded laboratory capacity to test for C. cayetanensis through the Food Safety Partnership with Mexico.