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J Infect Dis. 2001 May 1;183(9):1373-9. Epub 2001 Mar 29.

Cryptosporidium parvum-specific antibody responses among children residing in Milwaukee during the 1993 waterborne outbreak.

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Division of Parasitic Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30341, USA.


A major gastroenteritis outbreak among >400,000 residents of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in April 1993 was attributed to Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in drinking water. Plasma specimens obtained from children (6 months to 12 years old) for routine blood lead level surveillance March-May 1993 were assayed by ELISA for levels of IgG antibody against the immunodominant Triton-17 and 27-kDa C. parvum antigens. Over a 5-week period, the seroprevalence for antibodies to the 2 antigens increased from 15% to 82% and from 17% to 87%, respectively, in samples from children living in southern ZIP code areas (n=218), whereas smaller increases (20% to 43% and 22% to 46%, respectively) were noted among samples from children living in northern ZIP code areas (n=335; P<.0001). The results demonstrate that C. parvum infection was much more widespread than previously appreciated and confirm that infection was associated with residence in the area served by the southern water treatment plant.

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