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Testing Methods for Detection of Cryptosporidium Spp. in Water Samples

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Abstract:A large waterborne outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A. in 1993 prompted a search for ways to prevent large-scale waterborne outbreaks of protozoan parasitoses. Methods for detecting Cryptosporidium parvum play an integral role in strategies that lead to appropriate treatment of surface water, but are criticize because they produce results that are highly variable.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency developed a set of criteria to evaluate detection methods for protozoan parasites in water. As a consequence, the Agency has had to develop approaches to reducing uncertainty of evaluations. The variability and accuracy of various methods of producing small numbers of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts were tested. The least variable and most accurate method was used to spike seven surface water, and one tap water sample to compare 4 detection methods that had been reported in the literature. The least variable and most accurate method for spiking specified numbers of oocysts into samples was found to be flow cytometry. The most effective of the methods tested for detection in both environmental and reagent water was solid phase cytometry.
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Citation:Lindquist, H. A., J. W. Bennett, M. W. Ware, R. E. Stetler, M. Gauci, and F. W. Schaefer III. Testing Methods for Detection of Cryptosporidium Spp. in Water Samples. SOUTHEAST ASIAN JOURNAL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH 32(2):190-194, (2001).
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Contact: Mary P. O'Bryant - (919)-541-4871 or obriant.mary@epa.gov
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Division: Microbiological & Chemical Exposure Assessment Division
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Branch: Biohazard Assessment Research Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 02/01/2001
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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