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Public health of surfers and beach-goers at risk on contaminated California Coast

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.

[Sea Lions]
This image shows sea lions along the central coast of California.

Credit: Ian Paul Markham


American Society for Microbiology