The pathogen Giardia duodenalis is present in mussels from freshwater run-off sites and from areas where California Sea Lions lounge along the coast of California, according to a team of researchers from the University of California, Davis. One of the G. duodenalis strains found is known to infect humans; the two others occur mostly in dogs and other canids. “Thus, the detection of these assemblages implies a potential public health risk if consuming fecally contaminated water or uncooked shellfish,” says coauthor Woutrina Smith. The research is published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
This image shows sea lions along the central coast of California.
Credit: Ian Paul Markham