Submitted to: Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 6, 2001
Publication Date: July 1, 2001
Citation: Li, X., Fayer, R., Trout, J.M., Jenkins, M.C., Palmer, R.C. 2001. Effects of Gamma Irradiation on the Survival of Encephalitozoon Intestinalis Spores. Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology. Vol. 48:91S. Interpretive Summary: The microsporidian parasite Encephalitozoon intestinalis (Ei) is a fecal and urine borne pathogen that can be transmitted by direct contact or by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Irradiation has been used to reduce or prevent food borne infection from microbial pathogens. The present study determined that gamma irradiation far below the levels used to eliminate some bacterial pathogens was effective in greatly reducing infectivity of Ei spores. This is the first report of the effect of irradiation on the infectivity of any microsporidian parasite and indicates that irradiation may be a useful method for controlling other microsporidian contaminants of food.
Technical Abstract: In vitro produced spores of the human pathogen Encephalitozoon intestinalis (Ei) were exposed to a graded series of exposures from a gamma irradiation source ranging from 0.1 to 1.0 kGy. Statistically significant reduction in the number of infectious spores was attained at levels of 0.25 kGy and higher. At levels of 0.6 to 1.0 kGy less than 1 spore out of 50,000 was found infective in cultured mammalian cells, indicating the potential usefullness of irradiation as a method for control of Ei and possibly other foodborne microsporidian parasites.