ABSTRACT

We investigated the presence of Giardia duodenalis cysts and its genotypes in raw leafy vegetables sold in a Brazilian market. These products are different from those sold in most street markets because the producers themselves display and sell their products and rely on specialized technical and sanitary assistance. Vegetable and water samples were collected from 14 (80%) producers who cultivated vegetables that are typically consumed raw for sale at the market, obtained at the market and farms, respectively. A total of 128 samples of leafy greens (chives, parsley, cabbage, arugula, watercress, and chicory) and 14 water samples were analyzed by direct immunofluorescence and PCR techniques. The positive samples were genotyped (GHD gene) using PCR and restriction fragment length polymorphism. The analyses indicated that 16 (12.5%) of 128 samples were positive by PCR, while 1 (0.8%) of 128 samples were positive by immunofluorescence. Giardia cysts were not detected in the water samples obtained at the farms. The molecular technique revealed a genotype with zoonotic potential, which underscores the challenge in the control of giardiasis dissemination via the consumption of raw vegetables.

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