The scope of the Network includes foodborne, waterborne, and zoonotic parasites of public health concern in Canada. A number of FEPN members focus on the study of protozoan (single-celled) parasites Cyclospora, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, and Toxoplasma. Others focus on the study of helminth parasites (parasitic worms), which can be divided into roundworms, such as Trichinella and Anisakis, and the tapeworms (e.g. Taenia, Echinococcus and Diphyllobothrium). For more information on FEPN members’ research interest, please consult the Index of Interests and detailed member profiles.

The Network focuses on issues such as contaminated foods and infected food animals (e.g. imported produce, raw meats, fish and shellfish, country foods), potable and non-potable water, northern and aboriginal issues, zoonotic transmission (e.g. livestock, wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture, companion animals), and epidemiology.

The major objectives of the Network are:

  • to identify and communicate risks and research / surveillance gaps relevant to the fields of food and environmental parasitology;
  • to facilitate discussion, collaborative research, and development of grant applications amongst members and external researchers;
  • to develop and validate standardized methods for the isolation, detection, characterization and control of foodborne and environmental parasites;
  • to develop and validate methods for the surveillance and investigation of parasitic infection in humans;
  • to generate data for risk assessment and policy development; and
  • to provide expert advice and testing in support of outbreak investigations and surveillance studies.