The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided updates on the agency’s Cyclospora Prevention, Response, and Research Action Plan to reflect the current status of the agency’s work to prevent and reduce incidences of cyclosporiasis in the U.S.

In 2021, the FDA released its Cyclospora Prevention, Response, and Research Action Plan, which was developed by the agency’s Cyclospora Task Force and details the FDA’s strategy for reducing the public health burden of foodborne cyclosporiasis in the U.S. The plan also defines the Agency’s priorities for Cyclospora food safety research and is aligned with the spirit of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the New Era of Smarter Food Safety work to combat foodborne illness through preventive efforts.

The updated action plan includes refined strategies, a report on accomplishments, and three new actions that have been identified by the task force. Accomplishments made during 2023 include, but are not limited to:

  • Development of a new targeted amplicon genotyping assay for C. cayetanensis which will further aid outbreak and root cause investigations by allowing laboratories to sequence even when low levels of the parasite are detected in the sample
  • Development of a new fully automated screening assay for the detection of C. cayetanensis in fresh produce, soil, and surface agricultural water through a research collaboration between FDA and an independent laboratory
  • Monthly meetings with stakeholders to discuss food safety, research, and share data
  • Technical assistance on research regarding the control of C. cayetanensis on produce and in the environment
  • Expanded laboratory capacity to test for C. cayetanensis through the Food Safety Partnership with Mexico.

The three new actions in the plan include advancing root cause analyses procedures, building a repository of Cyclospora oocysts that can be used for research, and advancing methods for conducting such research.

FDA’s Cyclospora Task Force is partnering with stakeholders in industry, academia, and state and international governments to support prevention and research efforts to close knowledge gaps and make meaningful progress toward preventing and reducing incidences of cyclosporiasis.

FDA will continue sharing periodic updates related to the Cyclospora Action Plan and key deliverables.