Karen Shapiro

Karen Shapiro
University of California, Davis | UCD · School of Veterinary Medicine

BSc DVM MPVM PhD

About

76
Publications
13,563
Reads
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1,237
Citations
Citations since 2017
34 Research Items
981 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200250

Publications

Publications (76)
Article
Full-text available
Gelatinous polymers including extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) are fundamental to biophysical processes in aquatic habitats, including mediating aggregation processes and functioning as the matrix of biofilms. Yet insight into the impact of these sticky molecules on the environmental transmission of pathogens in the ocean is limited. We us...
Article
The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii infects a large proportion of threatened California sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), and is an important waterborne pathogen in humans. Contamination of coastal waters with T. gondii is thought to occur through delivery of environmentally resistant oocysts to nearshore regions via overland runoff. The obj...
Article
Full-text available
The flux of terrestrially derived pathogens to coastal waters presents a significant health risk to marine wildlife, as well as to humans who utilize the nearshore for recreation and seafood harvest. Anthropogenic changes in natural habitats may result in increased transmission of zoonotic pathogens to coastal waters. The objective of our work was...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental monitoring of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) for research and public health purposes has grown exponentially throughout the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Monitoring wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 provides early warning signals of virus spread and information on trends in infections at a communi...
Article
Full-text available
Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has been deployed broadly as an early warning tool for emerging COVID-19 outbreaks. WBE can inform targeted interventions and identify communities with high transmission, enabling quick and effective responses. As the wastewater (WW) becomes an increasingly important indicator for COVID-19 transmission, more robu...
Preprint
Background Wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) has been deployed broadly as an early warning tool for emerging COVID-19 outbreaks. WBE can inform targeted interventions and identify communities with high transmission, enabling quick and effective response. As wastewater becomes an increasingly important indicator for COVID-19 transmission, more rob...
Article
Full-text available
Plastics are widely recognized as a pervasive marine pollutant. Microplastics have been garnering increasing attention due to reports documenting their ingestion by animals, including those intended for human consumption. Their accumulation in the marine food chain may also pose a threat to wildlife that consume species that can accumulate micropla...
Article
Full-text available
Testing surfaces in school classrooms for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can provide public-health information that complements clinical testing. We monitored the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in five schools (96 classrooms) in Davis, California (USA) by collecting weekly surface-swab samples from classroom floors and/or p...
Preprint
Full-text available
Download figureOpen in new tab Wastewater surveillance is a useful complement to clinical testing for managing COVID-19. While good agreement has been found between community-scale wastewater and clinical data, little is known about sub-community relationships between the two data types. Moreover, effects of non-detects in qPCR wastewater data have...
Article
Full-text available
Cyclospora cayetanensis is an emerging food- and waterborne pathogen that causes cyclosporiasis, a gastrointestinal disease in humans. The parasite is endemic in tropical and subtropical regions; however, its prevalence is largely dependent on environmental factors, such as climate and rainfall patterns. The objective of this paper was to conduct a...
Chapter
Protozoan parasites constitute a neglected group of foodborne pathogens for which few validated detection methods are available in shellfish. This chapter describes a nested PCR assay for the detection of Toxoplasma gondii and Cyclospora cayetanensis that was validated in different tissues of oysters. The assay can consistently amplify DNA from as...
Chapter
Protozoan pathogen contamination of leafy green presents a health risk for fresh produce consumers. This chapter describes a simple multiplex PCR (mPCR) assay for simultaneous detection of Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia spp., Cyclospora cayetanensis, and Toxoplasma gondii on leafy greens. The nested mPCR assay provides a rapid, inexpensive, and simp...
Preprint
Full-text available
Testing surfaces in school classrooms for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can provide public-health information that complements clinical testing. We monitored the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in five schools (96 classrooms) in Davis, California (USA) by collecting weekly surface-swab samples from classroom floors and/or p...
Preprint
Full-text available
Plastics are widely recognized as a pervasive marine pollutant. Microplastics have been garnering increasing attention due to reports documenting their ingestion by animals, including those intended for human consumption. Their accumulation in the marine food chain may also pose a threat to wildlife that consume species that can accumulate micropla...
Article
Sarcocystis spp. are protozoan parasites that cause a spectrum of lesions in various hosts. Hepatic sarcocystosis and encephalitis have been described in captive American black bears (Ursus americanus) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus), and in a free-ranging grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis), but have not previously been reported in free-rangi...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing reports of marine mammal deaths have been attributed to the parasite Sarcocystis neurona. Infected opossums, the only known definitive hosts, shed S. neurona sporocysts in their feces. Sporocysts can contaminate the marine environment via overland runoff, and subsequent ingestion by marine mammals can lead to fatal encephalitis. Our aim...
Article
Food and waterborne protozoan pathogens including Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia enterica and Toxoplasma gondii are a global concern for human public health. While all three pathogens have been detected in commercial shellfish, there is currently no standard approach for detecting protozoan parasites in shellfish. Common molecular and microscopic...
Article
Full-text available
Oocyst shedding in domestic and wild felids is a critical yet understudied topic in Toxoplasma gondii ecology and epidemiology that shapes human and animal disease burden. We synthesized published literature dating from the discovery of felids as the definitive hosts of T. gondii in the 1960s through March 2021 to examine shedding prevalence, oocys...
Article
Protozoan contamination in produce is of growing importance due to their capacity to cause illnesses in consumers of fresh leafy greens. Viability assays are essential to accurately estimate health risk caused by viable parasites that contaminate food. We evaluated the efficacy of reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), propidium monoazid...
Article
The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii exposure in Inuit living in Nunavut (20%) is twice that of the US (11%); however, routes of exposure for Inuit communities in North America are unclear. Exposure to T. gondii in humans has been linked with consumption of raw or undercooked shellfish that can accumulate environmentally resistant oocysts. Bivalve s...
Article
Full-text available
Food and waterborne protozoan pathogens can cause serious disease in people. Three common species Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia enterica and Toxoplasma gondii can contaminate diverse shellfish species, including commercial oysters. Current methods of protozoan detection in shellfish are not standardized, and few are able to simultaneously identif...
Article
Full-text available
High prevalences of Cryptosporidium and Giardia were recently found in enteric illness patients in the Qikiqtaaluk region of Nunavut, Canada, with a foodborne, waterborne or animal source of parasites suspected. Clams (Mya truncata) are a commonly consumed, culturally important and nutritious country food in Iqaluit; however, shellfish may concentr...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic parasite that can have severe implications for human health. Acutely infected cats shed environmentally resistant T. gondii oocysts in their faeces that contaminate soil, and soil can serve as a reservoir of infection for humans. Free-roaming domestic cats are thought to play an important role in environ...
Article
In this TrendsTalk article, the organizers of the 15th International Congress on Toxoplasma Biology and Toxoplasmosis, Professors Jorge Gomez Marin and Alejandra de-la-Torre, bring the highlights of this event and the key outcome from the inaugural workshop on the environmental transmission of Toxoplasma gondii organized by Doctors Aurélien Dumètre...
Article
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Why some Toxoplasma gondii-infected southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) develop fatal toxoplasmosis while others have incidental or mild chronic infections has long puzzled the scientific community. We assessed robust datasets on T. gondii molecular characterization in relation to detailed necropsy and histopathology results to evaluate whe...
Article
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Toxoplasma gondii is recognised as an important pathogen in the marine environment, with oocysts carried to coastal waters in overland runoff. Currently, there are no standardised methods to detect T. gondii directly in seawater to assess the extent of marine ecosystem contamination, but filter-feeding shellfish may serve as biosentinels. A variety...
Article
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There are few epidemiologic studies on the role of dogs in zoonotic parasitic transmission in the Circumpolar North. The objectives of this study were to: (a) estimate the faecal prevalence of Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. in dogs; (b) investigate potential associations between the type of dog population and the faecal presence of Giardia s...
Article
Pathogen contamination of fresh produce presents a health risk for consumers; however, the produce industry still lacks adequate tools for simultaneous detection of protozoan parasites. Here, a simple multiplex PCR (mPCR) assay was developed for detection of protozoan (oo)cysts and compared with previously published real-time PCR assays and microsc...
Article
Full-text available
Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic protozoan parasite that can cause morbidity and mortality in humans, domestic animals, and terrestrial and aquatic wildlife. The environmentally robust oocyst stage of T. gondii is fundamentally critical to the parasite's success, both in terms of its worldwide distribution as well as the extensive range of infected...
Article
Full-text available
Toxoplasma gondii is a coccidian parasite with the cat as its definitive host but any warm-blooded animal, including humans, may act as intermediate hosts. It has a worldwide distribution where it may cause acute and chronic toxoplasmosis. Infection can result from ingestion either of tissue cysts in infected meat of intermediate hosts or oocysts f...
Article
Human noroviruses (NoVs) are responsible for 50% of food-related disease outbreaks and are notably associated with shellfish consumption. Despite the detrimental health impacts of human NoV-contaminated seafood to public health, there is a lack of knowledge on the physicochemical conditions that govern NoV transmission in aquatic ecosystems. In the...
Article
Freeze-thaw DNA extraction methods and PCR primers were compared to optimize detection of Cryptosporidium parvum and Toxoplasma gondii oocysts in different matrices. Increasing FT cycles did not increase parasite DNA detection, and primers targeting the 18S ssrRNA gene yielded the most sensitive detection of C. parvum oocysts.
Article
Pollution of nearshore waters with disease-causing microorganisms impacts ecosystems health through illness and deaths in people and wildlife, as well as negative socioeconomic consequences of impaired marine resources. Insight on pathogen ecology in coastal habitats is crucial for accurately mitigating inputs and impacts of microbial pollution. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Pollution of marine ecosystems with the protozoan parasites Toxoplasma gondii, Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis can be studied using bivalve shellfish as biosentinels. Although evidence suggests that these parasites are present in New Zealand coastal waters, the extent of protozoal pollution has not been investigated. This study used opt...
Article
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Small marine snails and abalone have been identified as high- and low-risk prey items, respectively, for exposure of threatened southern sea otters to Toxoplasma gondii, a zoonotic parasite that can cause fatal encephalitis in animals and humans. While recent work has characterized snails as paratenic hosts for T. gondii, the ability of abalone to...
Article
Full-text available
Rapidly developing coastal regions face consequences of land use and climate change including flooding and increased sediment, nutrient, and chemical runoff, but these forces may also enhance pathogen runoff, which threatens human, animal, and ecosystem health. Using the zoonotic parasite Toxoplasma gondii in California, USA as a model for coastal...
Article
Full-text available
Sarcocystis neurona is a terrestrial parasite that can cause fatal encephalitis in the endangered Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). To date, neither risk factors associated with marine contamination nor the route of S. neurona infection to marine mammals has been described. This study evaluated coastal S. neurona contamination using Calif...
Article
Full-text available
Tissue-cyst forming coccidia in the family Sarcocystidae are etiologic agents of protozoal encephalitis in marine mammals including the federally listed Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris). California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), whose coastal habitat overlaps with sea otters, are definitive hosts for coccidian protozoa provisionally named C...
Article
Full-text available
Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona are protozoan parasites with terrestrial definitive hosts, and both pathogens can cause fatal disease in a wide range of marine animals. Close monitoring of threatened southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) in California allowed for the diagnosis of dual transplacental transmission of T. gondii and S....
Article
Full-text available
The parasite Toxoplasma gondii is an environmentally persistent pathogen that can cause fatal disease in humans, terrestrial warm-blooded animals, and aquatic mammals. While an association between T. gondii exposure and prey specialization on marine snails was identified in threatened California sea otters, the ability of kelp-dwelling snails to tr...
Article
Full-text available
The bacterium Salmonella enterica can infect marine mammals and has been increasingly implicated in seafood-borne disease outbreaks in humans. Despite the risk this zoonotic agent poses to animals and people, little is known regarding the environmental factors that affect its persistence in the sea. The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact...
Article
Coastal habitat contamination with Toxoplasma gondii is a health risk to humans and marine wildlife, with infections documented in both nearshore and pelagic marine mammals. Due to lack of sensitive methods for detection of T. gondii in water, this study utilized an alternative surveillance approach for evaluating marine habitat contamination using...
Article
Full-text available
Cryptosporidium and Giardia are of public health importance, with recognized transmission through recreational waters. Therefore, both can contaminate marine waters and shellfish, with potential to infect marine mammals in nearshore ecosystems. A 2-year study was conducted to evaluate the presence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in mussels located a...
Article
Full-text available
Salmonella is a genus of zoonotic bacteria that can infect a variety of animals, and may cause gastrointestinal disease in marine mammals. Many of the same Salmonella serotypes are shed by California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and humans, which poses transmission questions and public health concerns. In this study, 454 fecal samples from th...
Article
Full-text available
Toxoplasma gondii is a land-derived parasite that infects humans and marine mammals. Infections are a significant cause of mortality for endangered southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), but the transmission mechanism is poorly understood. Otter exposure to T. gondii has been linked to the consumption of marine turban snails in kelp (Macrocys...
Article
Full-text available
Toxoplasmosis is a health concern for wildlife and humans, particularly in island ecosystems. In the Galápagos Islands, exposure to Toxoplasma gondii has been found in marine avifauna on islands with and without domestic cats. To evaluate potential waterborne transmission of T. gondii, we attempted to use filtration and epifluorescent microscopy to...
Data
Water quality characteristics of the different water types used in aggregation experiments
Article
Full-text available
Constructed wetland systems are used to reduce pollutants and pathogens in wastewater effluent, but comparatively little is known about pathogen transport through natural wetland habitats. Fecal protozoans, including Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia, and Toxoplasma gondii, are waterborne pathogens of humans and animals, which are carried by...
Article
Full-text available
Aquatic macroaggregates (flocs ≥0.5 mm) provide an important mechanism for vertical flux of nutrients and organic matter in aquatic ecosystems, yet their role in the transport and fate of zoonotic pathogens is largely unknown. Terrestrial pathogens that enter coastal waters through contaminated freshwater runoff may be especially prone to flocculat...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental transmission of extremely resistant Toxoplasma gondii oocysts has resulted in infection of diverse species around the world, leading to severe disease and deaths in human and animal populations. This review explores T. gondii oocyst shedding, survival, and transmission, emphasizing the importance of linking laboratory and landscape fr...
Article
Full-text available
Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona have caused significant morbidity and mortality in threatened Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) along the central California coast. Because only terrestrial animals are known to serve as definitive hosts for T. gondii and S. neurona, infections in otters suggest a land to sea flow of these protozo...
Article
While reports on waterborne infections with Toxoplasma gondii are emerging worldwide, detection of this zoonotic parasite in water remains challenging. Lack of standardized and quantitative methods for detection of T. gondii oocysts in water also limits research on the transport and fate of this pathogen through aquatic habitats. Here, we compare t...
Article
Full-text available
The physical properties that govern the waterborne transmission of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts from land to sea were evaluated and compared to the properties of carboxylated microspheres, which could serve as surrogates for T. gondii oocysts in transport and water treatment studies. The electrophoretic mobilities of T. gondii oocysts, lightly carboxy...
Chapter
Pulsations in the cerebropsinal fluid have long been identified by researchers (Bering 1955, Dunbar et al. 1966). The origin, configuration, and amplitude of these pulse waves and their response to conditions in the cranial vault have been of interest as well as their role in the pathogenesis of neurologic diseases (White et al. 1979, Foltz and Ain...
Chapter
Many studies have investigated the role of brain compliance and the pressure volume index (PVI) in the hydrocephalic process (Shulman and Marmarou 1971, Guinane 1974, Shapiro et al. 1985, Shapiro and Fried 1986). However, very little is known about the changes in the brain tissue characteristics which take place during hydrocephalus. These properti...

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