Document Type : Original Article


Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt.


Cryptosporidiosis in food handlers is an important public health problem. Cryptosporidium infection is transmitted by ingestion of Cryptosporidium oocysts through consumption of a contaminated food or water. Workers in food sector can play a role in cryptosporidiosis outbreak. This study aimed to detect the existence of Cryptosporidium among asymptomatic food handlers using microscopical examination and commercially available antigen capture ELISA. Stool samples collected from asymptomatic 237 food handlers, aged from 17-50 years old and worked at different branches of food sector within Zagazig and its surrounding. Fecal samples were examined microscopically to detect Cryptosporidium oocysts by modified Ziehl-Neelsen stain (MZN) and by ELISA for detection of Cryptosporidium copro-antigen. Among 237
food handlers asymptomatic cryptosporidiosis has been detected in 10 (4.2%) by MZN, 12 (5%) by ELISA and 13(5.5%) by both techniques. Out of 13 asymptomatic infected food handlers, three of them worked as fruits/vegetables sellers, two at restaurant, three butchers, two as fast food workers, one at Canteen, Café and two at supermarket. These findings indicate that food handlers can be a source of cryptosporidiosis infection. Thus, searching for the existence of asymptomatic cryptosporidiosis food handlers and taking the required measures in case of its determination are helpful in prevention of probable morbidity and protection of consumer health.