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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Jun;77(11):3609-16. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00146-11. Epub 2011 Apr 15.

Occurrence, source, and human infection potential of cryptosporidium and Giardia spp. in source and tap water in shanghai, china.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, School of Resource and Environmental Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China.


Genotyping studies on the source and human infection potential of Cryptosporidium oocysts in water have been almost exclusively conducted in industrialized nations. In this study, 50 source water samples and 30 tap water samples were collected in Shanghai, China, and analyzed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Method 1623. To find a cost-effective method to replace the filtration procedure, the water samples were also concentrated by calcium carbonate flocculation (CCF). Of the 50 source water samples, 32% were positive for Cryptosporidium and 18% for Giardia by Method 1623, whereas 22% were positive for Cryptosporidium and 10% for Giardia by microscopy of CCF concentrates. When CCF was combined with PCR for detection, the occurrence of Cryptosporidium (28%) was similar to that obtained by Method 1623. Genotyping of Cryptosporidium in 17 water samples identified the presence of C. andersoni in 14 water samples, C. suis in 7 water samples, C. baileyi in 2 water samples, C. meleagridis in 1 water sample, and C. hominis in 1 water sample. Therefore, farm animals, especially cattle and pigs, were the major sources of water contamination in Shanghai source water, and most oocysts found in source water in the area were not infectious to humans. Cryptosporidium oocysts were found in 2 of 30 tap water samples. The combined use of CCF for concentration and PCR for detection and genotyping provides a less expensive alternative to filtration and fluorescence microscopy for accurate assessment of Cryptosporidium contamination in water, although the results from this method are semiquantitative.

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