Welcome to the Foodborne Disease website. The sources of pathogens responsible for causing foodborne illnesses are pervasive. Food and its derivatives will invariably harbor a small concentration of pathogenic agents. When existing in minor proportions, these detrimental microorganisms do not give rise to any concerns. However, upon surpassing a particular threshold of contamination, they hold the capability to initiate sickness and potentially lead to fatal outcomes..

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

What are protozoa?

Protozoa are unicellular, eukaryotic, heterotrophic organisms. They are either free-living or parasites. Mostly they are aerobic but some are anaerobic and present in the rumen or human intestine.

Protozoa can live independently as free-living organisms in the environment, often in the soil, water, or moss. They can also be resting cysts, which lets them survive through dry times. Their main characteristics are:
*They are single celled
*Their cells have membrane-bound nuclei (we call them eukaryotic)
*They lack a rigid cell wall
*They usually lack chloroplasts

Examples of protozoa are Amoeba, Paramoecium, Trypanosoma, Plasmodium, etc. The protozoan parasites Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and Cyclospora have proven potential to cause waterborne and foodborne disease. Toxoplasma gondii has been considered a risk in specific cases, but humans are not its primary host.

Protozoa feed by taking in other organisms such as bacteria and algae or organic particles such as animal or plant debris. They can absorb soluble nutrients such as sugars directly through the cell envelope.

Intestinal protozoa transmitted by consumption of contaminated water and food and mainly affect children and elder people and cause considerable health problems. They live and multiply in the digestive system, irritating the lining and causing pain, fever and diarrhea. Symptoms may appear and disappear for several weeks. They are the leading causes of outpatient morbidity due to diarrhea in the developing countries.
What are protozoa?

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