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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Oct;78(20):7420-8. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Depletion of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts from contaminated sewage by using freshwater benthic pearl clams (Hyriopsis schlegeli).

Author information

  • 1Section of Drinking Water Chemistry, Division of Environmental Hygiene, Hokkaido Institute of Public Health, Sapporo, Japan. izumit@iph.pref.hokkaido.jp

Abstract

The freshwater benthic pearl clam, Hyriopsis schlegeli, was experimentally exposed to Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts, and it was verified that the oocysts were eliminated predominantly via the fecal route, retaining their ability to infect cultured cells (HCT-8). The total fecal oocyst elimination rate was more than 90% within 5 days after exposure to the oocysts. H. schlegeli was able to survive in the final settling pond of a sewage plant for long periods, as confirmed by its pearl production. In the light of these findings, the clam was placed in the final settling pond in a trial to test its long-term efficacy in depleting oocysts contaminating the pond water. The number of clams placed was set to ensure a theoretical oocyst removal rate of around 50%, and the turbidity and the density of feed microbes in the overflow trough water of the pond were about 35% and 40 to 60% lower, respectively, than in the control water throughout the year. It was found that the clam feces containing oocysts were sufficiently heavy for them to settle to the bottom of the pond, despite the upward water flow. From these results, we concluded that efficient depletion of oocysts in the sewage water of small or midscale sewage treatment plants can be achieved by appropriate placement of H. schlegeli clams.

PMID:
22904053
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3457110
Free PMC Article

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