The consumption of shellfish has increased considerably worldwide, with an associated increase in foodborne illnesses. Among the bivalves, the mussels are usually cooked by steam, which constitutes a typical dish in several regions. In this article, we demonstrate that this preparation is not sufficient to destroy completely the infectivity of Cryptosporidium parvum. Oocysts recovered from experimentally contaminated mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) were infectious to neonatal mice after cooking. Although, to date, no official cases of cryptosporidiosis linked to shellfish consumption have been reported, we recommend that people with reduced immunity avoid this type of food because they are at high risk of being infected with Cryptosporidium spp. after eating raw or undercooked contaminated bivalves.

This content is only available as a PDF.