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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #337750

Research Project: Development of Alternative Intervention Technologies for Fresh or Minimally Processed Foods

Location: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research

Title: The use of an atmospheric cold plasma jet to inactivate Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts on cilantro

item CRAIGHEAD, SHANI - University Of Delaware
item SHEARER, ADRIENNE - University Of Delaware
item Hertrich, Sarah
item Boyd, Glenn
item Sites, Joseph
item Niemira, Brendan
item KNIEL, KALMIA - University Of Delaware

Submitted to: International Association for Food Protection
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2017
Publication Date: 7/9/2017
Citation: Craighead, S., Shearer, A., Hertrich, S.M., Boyd, G., Sites, J.E., Niemira, B.A., Kniel, K. 2017. The use of an atmospheric cold plasma jet to inactivate Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts on cilantro.[Abstract]. International Association for Food Protection., Tampa, Florida., Volume 1, Page 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Introduction: In 2015, the CDC reported a rise in outbreaks linked to parasites like Cryptosporidium. Outbreaks of Cryptosporidium parvum have been associated with contaminated drinking or recreational water; however, there is growing concern that oocysts may become a more common contaminant in foods, especially in produce and herbs which have been identified as vehicles for transmission of protozoan illness. Purpose: This study examined the effects of a cold plasma jet on the viability of C. parvum oocysts on fresh cilantro. Methods: Oocysts (6.25 x 10^5 oocysts/per 500ul PBS) were applied to glass slides (control) or fresh cilantro, and treated in duplicate. The samples air-dried for 90min, were treated for 0s, 30s, 90s, 180s with atmospheric cold plasma jet, and placed into 50mL conical tubes containing 15mL PBS. Samples were placed on a rotating shaker plate for 30 min and inverted at 15 min, then centrifuged for 20 min at 2,000xg, treated with 2% bleach, and triple-rinsed. Recovered oocysts were subjected to excystation in duplicate per sample. Oocysts were treated with 0.75% taurocholic acid/0.25% trypsin solution, incubated at 37C for 45 mins and observed. Percent excystation was determined using differential interference contrast microscopy of 100 fields, counting oocyst ghosts and observing moving sporozoites compared to non-viable oocysts. Data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA. Results: Data analysis indicates a decrease in percent excystation of oocysts that is statistically significant between the untreated oocysts with >85% excystation and treated (180s) samples on glass (p=0.0060). Oocysts recovered from cilantro showed significant differences in excystation, between untreated and treated (90s, 180s) samples (p<0.01). Treated oocysts showed varying percent excystation at <65%. Significance: Oocyst excystation is the initial step in infection. Data suggests cold plasma treatment effects C. parvum oocyst viability. These results indicate potential inactivation and warrant use of cell culture infectivity assays coupled with variation in oocyst inoculum levels and treatment parameters.