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Microb Ecol. 2008 Nov;56(4):585-92. doi: 10.1007/s00248-008-9378-7. Epub 2008 Mar 15.

Environmental inactivation of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in waste stabilization ponds.

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Environmental Research Institute, University of León, La Serna 58, 24007 León, Spain.


The survival of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in a waste stabilization pond system in northwestern Spain and the effects of sunlight and the depth and type of pond on oocyst viability were evaluated using an assay based on the exclusion or inclusion of two fluorogenic vital dyes, 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) and propidium iodide (PI). All tested factors had significant effects (P < 0.01) over time on C. parvum oocyst viability. Sunlight exposure was the most influential factor for oocyst inactivation. A 40% reduction was observed after 4 days exposure to sunlight conditions compared with dark conditions. The type of pond also caused a significant reduction in C. parvum oocyst viability (P < 0.01). Inactivation rates reflected that the facultative pond was the most aggressive environment for oocysts placed both at the surface (presence of sunlight) and at the bottom (absence of sunlight) of the pond, followed by the maturation pond and the anaerobic pond. The mean inactivation rates of oocysts in the ponds ranged from 0.0159 to 0.3025 day(-1).

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