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Ynes Rosa Ortega

Associate Professor
  • Center for Food Safety
Mailing Address:
Griffin, CAES Campus

Overview of Research Program


Detection of human and animal pathogenic parasites in food, biological and environmental samples; pathogenesis of coccidian parasites with emphasis on Crytosporidium parvum and Cyclospora cayetanensis

Methods for parasites inactivation in food products

For more information on Dr. Ortega's research program, visit her web page at:

Invention Disclosures and Discoveries

Monoclonal antibodies unique to Entamoeba histolytica trophozoite determinants. Invention conceived on May 16, 1988. University of Arizona, UP #920. Licensed to Meridian Diagnostics, Inc.

Monoclonal antibodies unique to Trichomonas vaginalis trophozoite determinants. Invention conceived on Dec. 23, 1988. University of Arizona, UP #922. Licensed to Meridian Diagnostics, Inc.

Discovery of a new coccidian parasite in humans: Cyclospora cayetanensis. Organisms deposited at the U.S. National Museum (USNM) Parasite Collection. 1994. Beltsville, Maryland. National Parasite Accession #83416 document #79; vial (MK161F).


(2010 - present)

Kvac M, Hofmannova L, Ortega Y, Holubova N, Horcickova M, Kicia M, Hlaskova L, Kvetonova D, Sak B, McEvoy . 2017. Stray cats are more frequently infected with zoonotic protists than pet cats. J. Folia Parasitol (Praha). 64. pii: 2017.034. doi: 10.14411/fp.2017.034.

Chile, N., T. Clark, Y. Arana, Y.R. Ortega, S. Palma, A. Mejia, N. Angulo, J.C. Kosek, M. Kosek, L.A. Gomez-Puerta, H.H. Garcia, C.M. Gavidia, R.H. Gilman, and M. Verastegui. 2016. In vitro study of Taenia solium postoncospheral form. PLoS Neglected Trop. Dis. 10:e0004396.

Kvac, M., N. Havdova, L. Hlaskova, T. Dankova, J. Kandera, J. Jezkova, J. Vitovek, B. Sak, Y. Ortega, L.H. Xiao. 2016. Cryptosporidium proliferans n. sp. (Apicomplexa: Cryptosporidiidae): Molecular and biological evidence of cryptic species with gastric Cryptosporidium of mammals. PLoS One 11:e0147090.

Doyle, M.P., M.C. Erickson, W. Alali, J. Cannon, X. Deng, Y. Ortega, M.A. Smith, and T. Zhao. 2015. Food industry's current and future role in preventing microbial foodborne illness within the United States. Clin. Infect. Dis. 61:252-259.

Erickson, M.C., J. Liao, J.L. Cannon, and Y.R. Ortega. 2015. Contamination of knives and graters by bacterial foodborne pathogens during slicing and grating of produce.  Food Microbiol. 52:138-145.

Erickson, M.C., J. Liao, J.L. Cannon, and Y.R. Ortega. 2015. Role of brushes and peelers in removal of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella from produce in domestic kitchens.  J. Food Prot. 78:1624-1631.

Verastegui, M.R., A. Mejia, T. Clark, C.M. Gavidia, J. Mamani, F. Ccope, N. Angulo, N. Chile, R. Carmen, R. Medina, H.H. Garcia, S. Rodriguez, Y. Ortega, and R.H. Gilman. 2015. Novel rat model for neurocysticercosis using Taenia solium.  Am. J. Pathol. 185:2259-2268.

Chandra, V., M. Torres, and Y.R. Ortega. 2014. Efficacy of wash solutions in recovering Cyclospora cayetanensis, Cryptosporidium parvum, and Toxoplasma gondii from basil. J. Food Prot. 77:1348-1354.

Orozco-Mosqueda, G.E., O.A. Martinez-Loya, and Y.R. Ortega. 2014. Cyclospora cayetanensis in a pediatric hospital in Morelia, Mexico. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 91:537-540.

Robertson, L.J., H. Sprong, Y.R. Ortega, J.W.B. van der Giessen, and R. Fayer. 2014. Impacts of globalisation on foodborne parasites. Trends Parasitol. 30:37-52.

Robertson, L.J., H. Sprong, Y. Ortega, J.W.B. van der Glessen, and R. Fayer. 2014. Response to Galan-Puchades and Fuentes: Taenia asiatica: neglected – but not forgotten – and almost certainly being quietly globalised.  Trends Parasitol. 30:56-57.

Sulaiman, I.M., Y. Ortega, S. Simpson, and K. Kerdahi. 2014. Genetic characterization of human-pathogenic Cyclospora cayetanensis parasites from three endemic regions at the 18S ribosomal RNA locus.  Infect. Genet. Evolut. 22:229-234.

Wang, Y.F., W.L. Yang, V. Cama, L. Wang, L. Cabrera, Y. Ortega, C. Bern, Y.Y. Feng, R. Gilman, and L.H. Xiao. 2014. Population genetics of Cryptosporidium meleagridis in humans and birds: evidence for cross-species transmission.  Int. J. Parasitol. 44:515-521.

Li, N., L.H. Xiao, V.A. Cama, Y. Ortega, R.H. Gilman, M.J. Guo, and Y.Y. Feng. 2013. Genetic recombination and Cryptosporidium hominis virulent subtype IbA10G2. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 19:1573-1582.

Sulaiman, I. , Y. Ortega, S. Simpson, and K. Kerdahi. 2013. Genetic characterization of human-pathogenic Cyclospora cayetanensis parasites from three endemic regions at the 18S ribosomal RNA locus. Infect. Genet. Evol.

Sulaiman, I.M., M.P. Torres, S. Simpson, K. Kerdahi, and Y. Ortega. 2013. Sequence characterization of heat shock protein gene of Cyclospora Cayetanensis parasites from Nepal , Mexico , and Peru . J Parasitol. 99:379-382.

Wang, Q., M.C. Erickson, Y. Ortega, and J.L. Cannon. 2013. Physical removal and transfer of murine norovirus and hepatitis A virus from contaminated produce by scrubbing and peeling.  J. Food Prot. 76:85-92.

Wang, Q., M. Erickson, Y.R. Ortega, and J.L. Cannon. 2013. The fate of murine norovirus and hepatitis A virus during preparation of fresh produce by cutting and grating.  Food Environ. Virol. DOI 10.1007/s12560-012-9099-4.

Ben Ayed, L., W.L. Yang, G. Widmer, V. Cama, Y. Ortega, and L.H. Xiao. 2012. Survey and genetic characterization of wastewater in Tunisia for Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia duodenalis, Enterocytozoon bieneusi, Cyclospora cayetanensis and Eimeria spp. J. Wat. Hlth. 10:431-444.

Kvac, M., M. Kestranova, D. Kvetonova, M. Kotkova, Y. Ortega, J. McEvoy, and B. Sak. 2012. Cryptosporidium tyzzeri and Cryptosporidium muris originated from wild West-European house mice (Mus musculus domesticus) and East-European house mice (Mus musculus musculus) are non-infectious for pigs.  Expt. Parasitol. 131:107-110.

Ortega, Y.R., M.P. Torres, and J.M. Tatum. 2011. Efficacy of levulinic acid-sodium dodecyl sulfate against Encephalitozoon intestinalis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Cryptosporidium parvum. J. Food Prot. 74:140-144.

Nundy, S., R.H. Gilman, L.H. Xiao, L. Cabrera, R. Cama, Y.R. Ortega, G. Kahn, and V.A. Cama. 2011. Wealth and its associations with enteric parasitic infections in a low-income community in Peru. Use of principal component analysis. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 84:38-42.

Cardenas, V.M., K.D. Mena, M. Ortiz, S. Karri, E. Variyam, C.B. Behravesh, K.F. Snowden, A. Flisser, J.R. Bristol, L.F. Mayberry, Y.R. Ortega, Y. Fukuda, A. Campos, and D.Y. Graham. 2010. Hyperendemic H. pylori and tapeworm infections in a US-Mexico border population. Publ. Health Rept. 125:441-447.

Cooper, M.A., C.R. Sterling, R.H. Gilman, V. Cama, Y. Ortega, and R.D. Adam. 2010. Molecular analysis of household transmission of Giardia lamblia in a region of high endemicity in Peru. J. Infect. Dis. 202:1713-1721.

Ortega, Y.R. and R. Sanchez. 2010. Update on Cyclospora cayetanensis, a food-borne and waterborne parasite. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. 23:218-234.