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Environ Sci Technol. 2003 Nov 15;37(22):5254-61.

Use of multiwavelength transmission spectroscopy for the characterization of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts: quantitative interpretation.

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College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA.


Combined scattering and absorption properties of suspended particles can be obtained as a function of wavelength by measuring the complete ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) spectrum. This research reports on the quantitative interpretation of measured UV-vis spectra of Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst suspensions obtained from several commercial sources and evaluated using two different purification techniques. The reproducibility of the measured spectral data was assessed, and the quantitative interpretation of the oocyst spectra in terms of the particle size and the chemical composition of the particles are reported herein. The interpretation model of the spectra is based on light scattering theory, spectral deconvolution techniques, and on the approximation of the wavelength-dependent optical properties of the basic constituents of living organisms. A characteristic set of optical properties for C. parvum oocysts has been determined as a function of wavelength and used for the quantitative interpretation of UV-vis spectra. The results from the spectral deconvolution show quantitative differences among oocyst preparations. These results represent the first step in establishing a set of critical parameters (e.g., oocyst size and chemical composition) necessary for the detection and identification of C. parvum oocysts in water using spectroscopy.

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