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Parasitol Res. 2001 Mar;87(3):231-4.

Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha): evidence from the St Lawrence River.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Molluscan shellfish can recover and concentrate environmentally derived waterborne pathogens and can be used for the sanitary assessment of water quality. Oocysts of Cryptosporidium parvum (genotype 1) were identified in zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) from the St. Lawrence River, Quebec. Approximately 67 oocysts/ml of hemolymph and 129 oocysts/g of soft tissue were recovered. The adjusted concentration of oocysts per gram of tissue was 2.2 x 10(2), and approximately 4.4 x 10(2) oocysts were recovered from a single mussel. Zebra mussels can serve as biological indicators of waterborne contamination with Cryptosporidium.

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