Cryptosporidiosis in Norway associated with self-pressed apple juice

In the autumn of 2018, an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis affected adult employees from the same company in Western Norway. The organism was Cryptosporidium parvum, GP60 subtype IIaA14G1R1.

All those infected had drunk from the same container of self-pressed apple juice. Incubation period (1 week) and clinical signs were similar among those infected, although some experienced a more prolonged duration of symptoms (up to 2–3 weeks) than others.

The infections resulted after consumption from only one of 40 containers of juice and not from any of the other containers. It seems that although Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in a sample from another container, the contamination did not affect the whole batch. This is perhaps indicative of a restricted contamination event, either from contaminated ground in the orchard, or during collection of the fruit, or during processing.

Although outbreaks of foodborne cryptosporidiosis have previously been associated with consumption of contaminated apple juice, most of the more recent outbreaks of foodborne cryptosporidiosis have been associated with salad vegetables or herbs. This outbreak, the first outside U.S. reported to be associated with apple juice, is a timely reminder that such juice is a suitable transmission vehicle for Cryptosporidium oocysts, and that appropriate hygienic measures are essential in the production of such juice, including artisanal (non-commercial) production.

Robertson, L. J., Temesgen, T. T., Tysnes, K. R., & Eikås, J. E. (2019). An apple a day: An outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Norway associated with self-pressed apple juice. Epidemiology and Infection, 147. doi:10.1017/s0950268819000232