June 30, 2023
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released updates to the agency’s Cyclospora Prevention, Response and Research Action Plan. The updates reflect the current status of FDA’s work to prevent and reduce incidences of cyclosporiasis in the U.S.
In 2021, the FDA released its Cyclospora Prevention, Response and Research Action Plan (2021). The action plan was developed by the Agency’s Cyclospora Task Force and details the FDA’s strategy for reducing the public health burden of foodborne cyclosporiasis in the United States. It also defines the Agency’s priorities for Cyclospora food safety research and is aligned with the spirit of the Food Safety Modernization Act and New Era of Smarter Food Safety work to combat foodborne illness through preventive efforts.
The updated action plan includes refined strategies, a report on accomplishments and three new actions that have been identified by the task force. Accomplishments this year include, but are not limited to:
- Development of a new targeted amplicon genotyping assay for C. cayetanensis which will further aid outbreak and root cause investigations by allowing laboratories to sequence even when low levels of the parasite are detected in the sample.
- Development of a new fully automated screening assay for the detection of C. cayetanensis in fresh produce, soil and surface agricultural water through a research collaboration between FDA and an independent laboratory.
- Monthly meetings with stakeholders to discuss food safety, research and share data
- Technical assistance on research regarding the control of C. cayetanensis on produce and in the environment
- Expanded laboratory capacity to test for C. cayetanensis through the Food Safety Partnership with Mexico.
The three new actions in the plan include advancing root cause analyses procedures, building a repository of Cyclospora oocysts that can be used for research, and advancing the methods to conduct such research.
The FDA’s Cyclospora Task Force is partnering with stakeholders in industry, academia, and state and international governments to support prevention and research efforts to close knowledge gaps and make meaningful progress toward preventing and reducing incidences of cyclosporiasis.
The FDA will continue sharing periodic updates related to the Cyclospora Action Plan and key deliverables to keep our federal, state, local public health, and industry partners informed.
For questions or concerns related to the FDA’s Cyclospora efforts, contact CyclosporaActionPlan@fda.hhs.gov
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