Background: Consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is a basic component of a healthy diet. Thus, the consumption of vegetables
can have an important role in public health.
Objectives: Because of this concern, a prevalence study of parasitic contamination was carried out on raw vegetables to estimate
the human risk of parasitic infections in Asadabad city, west of Iran.
Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 383 samples of different vegetables were obtained randomly from 12 vegetable farms in and
around Asadabad. These samples included 10 types of seasonal vegetables: coriander, radish, spring onion, leek, parsley, tarragon,
savory, basil,mint, and cress. The samples were examined by two parasitologicalmethods: sedimentation and floatation techniques.
Results: Parasitic contaminations were detected in 34 (8.4%) vegetable samples, including five pathogenic and two non-pathogenic
parasites. The parasites identified were Giardia intestinalis (1.6%), Entamoeba coli (2.6%), Toxocara spp. (0.8%), Fasciola spp. (0.5%),
Taenia spp. (0.3%), Dicrocoelium dendriticum (0.3%), and free-living larvae (2.3%). Among the infested samples, coriander was the most
contaminated vegetable (15.8%). The relationship between contamination of vegetables and untreated water used on farms was
significant (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: The results implicate the importance of consumption of vegetables in the spread of parasitic diseases in the studied
region. Thus, some basic hygiene measures should be carried out to improve public health and reduce infectious disease rates.