The good news is that a group of Portuguese researchers, who are members of the SafeConsume consortium, succeeded to set up a procedure to estimate the intitial number of oocysts of Toxoplasma gondii present in each gram of vegetable or fruit they analyzed from samples taken in several locations in Portugal and Spain.

The bad news is that Toxoplasma gondii, this intracellular protozoan causing toxoplasmosis and being the third most important contributor to health burden caused by food-borne illnesses, was found both on berry fruits, and lettuce, watercress, coriander, parsley, carrots, and arugula.

The authorship of the scientific paper, which is entitled „Detection of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts in fresh vegetables and berry fruits” belongs to Cláudia S. Marques, Susana Sousa, António Castro and José Manuel Correia da Costa, all from the Centre for the Study in Animal Science (ICETA), University of Porto, Porto, Portugal and the Centre for Parasite Biology and Immunology, Department of Infectious Diseases, National Health Institute Dr Ricardo Jorge (INSARJ).

The paper is published in Parasites & Vectors, an open access, peer-reviewed online journal that publishes articles available to all worldwide on the biology of parasites, parasitic diseases, intermediate hosts, vectors and vector-borne pathogens. The journal’s 5-year Impact Factor is 3.342.

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