Investigation of Cyclosporiasis Outbreaks in British Columbia

The outbreak of cyclosporiasis, a foodborne or waterborne disease caused by the microorganism called cyclospora, was first documented in the province of British Columbia in 1999. From 1999 to present, there have been 5 documented outbreaks of cyclosporiasis in BC and they were found to be associated with locally produced or imported produce. However, there is no increase in cyclospora cases nationally. The objective of this project with the BC Centre for Disease Control is to determine if cyclosporiasis is endemic to BC or if it is a reflection in the difference in laboratory detection and reporting mechanisms in Canada through the conduction of surveys. The irrigation methods and agricultural practices of the lower mainland farming areas in BC would also be evaluated to investigate if they are potential causes of contamination of the locally-grown produce.

Alice Chai
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Timothy Durance
British Columbia