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Use of a case-control study and control bank to investigate an outbreak of locally acquired cyclosporiasis in Canada, 2016.


ABSTRACT: Background:Cyclospora is an intestinal parasite that is not endemic in Canada. However, national outbreaks of locally acquired cases have been reported since 2013. These outbreaks were suspected to be associated with consumption of produce imported from countries where Cyclospora is endemic. Identification of the source can be challenging because of reporting delays and limited traceability of produce. Objective:To report on a national outbreak of locally acquired cyclosporiasis, highlight the challenges of investigating these outbreaks and document the first time use of a control bank to recruit controls for a national outbreak case-control study in Canada. Methods:Cases of cyclosporiasis were identified through provincial laboratory testing and reported through provinces to the national level. Cases were interviewed about food exposures using a questionnaire and food exposures reported by cases were compared to Foodbook reference values. To narrow down the food items of interest, a matched case-control study was conducted. Controls for the study were recruited primarily from a control bank, that is, a list of individuals who had previously agreed to participate in public health-related surveys. Results:In total, 87 cases of locally acquired cyclosporiasis with onset or report dates between May 19, 2016 and August 10, 2016 were reported by four provinces. Comparing case exposures to Foodbook reference values identified several food items of interest, including blackberries, other berries, herbs and leafy greens. The case-control study identified only blackberries and mesclun greens as significantly more frequently consumed by cases than controls. Due to lack of product details for blackberries and mesclun greens, the source of the outbreak was not conclusively identified. Conclusion:Blackberries were the primary food item of interest, but could not be identified as the conclusive source due to lack of traceability. The control bank was found to be a useful tool for control recruitment.

SUBMITTER: Morton V 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6781950 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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