Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp. in surface water supply of Campinas, Southeast Brazil

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Surface water contaminated by domestic sewage discharges is a potential source of pathogens, including protozoa. During 2005–2006, the source water (Atibaia River) of the Surface Water Treatment Plant (WTP) of Campinas city, São Paulo, Brazil was sampled to obtain an assessment of Cryptosporidium oocyst and Giardia cyst concentrations. Calcium carbonate flocculation (CCF) and membrane filtration (MF) concentration techniques, with and without purification by immunomagnetic separation (IMS) were evaluated. The cysts and oocysts were detected by immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and confirmed by differential interference contrast (DIC). Membrane filtration method generally produced higher recovery efficiency. Giardia spp. was detected in 87.5% of the water samples analyzed with densities ranging from 2.5 to 120 cysts per L. Cryptosporidium spp were detected in 62.5% and the concentrations ranged from 15 to 60 oocysts per L. Cryptosporidium oocyst and Giardia cyst concentrations detected in this study were elevated and are associated with discharge of untreated sewage in Atibaia River. Measures should be taken to protect surface water from sources of contamination.

Keywords: Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, IMS, protozoa, source water, waterborne disease

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