Parasites in vegetables used for human consumption: a risk for public health


  • Lucia Oliveira Macedo Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Recife-PE, Brasil
  • Guilherme Mota Maciel Rego Barros Universidade Federal do Agreste de Pernambuco, Garanhuns-PE, Brasil.
  • Tatiene Rossana Móta Silva Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Recife-PE, Brasil
  • Gílcia Aparecida Carvalho Universidade Federal do Agreste de Pernambuco, Garanhuns-PE, Brasil
  • Rafael Antonio Nascimento Ramos Universidade Federal do Agreste de Pernambuco, Garanhuns-PE, Brasil



food-safety, foodborne diseases, helminths, protozoan


Vegetables are pivotal food source to the human beings, representing the source of key nutrients, which in turn the occurrence of chronic diseases. Nonetheless, the consumption of poorly washed or in nature vegetables may expose individuals to the risk of infection by parasites. The aim of this study was to assess the contamination by parasites of medical and veterinary concern in raw vegetables used for human consumption. Fresh vegetables [i.e., lettuces (n = 50), carrots (n = 50) and beet (n = 50)] were acquired in different market places across the municipality of Garanhuns (northeastern Brazil) and the presence of parasites assessed by a sedimentation technique. Parasites were detected in 44.7% (67/150) of the evaluated samples. This study provides important data on the occurrence of zoonotic agents in vegetables. Therefore, strict hygienic measures should be adopted to reduce the risk for vegetable contamination leading to a reduction of human infection by pathogens of medical importance.


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Medicina Veterinária Preventiva