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J Water Health. 2017 Feb;15(1):1-16. doi: 10.2166/wh.2016.160.

Limiting swimming pool outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis - the roles of regulations, staff, patrons and research.

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School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia E-mail:
The University of Queensland, School of Public Health, Herston, Queensland 4006, Australia.


Cryptosporidium is the leading cause of swimming pool outbreaks of gastroenteritis. Transmission occurs through the ingestion of oocysts that are passed in the faeces of an infected person or animal when an accidental faecal release event occurs. Cryptosporidium parasites present specific challenges for infection control as oocysts are highly resistant to chlorine levels used for pool disinfection, infected individuals can shed large numbers of oocysts, there is a long incubation period and shedding of oocysts occurs even after symptom resolution. The purposes of this review are to identify key barriers to limiting swimming pool-associated outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis and to outline needs for research and collaboration to advance co-ordinated management practices. We reviewed swimming pool-associated cryptosporidiosis outbreaks, disinfection teachniques, current regulations and the role of staff and patrons. Key barriers to limiting swimming pool-associated outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis are a lack of uniform national and international standards, poor adherence and understanding of regulations governing staff and patron behaviour, and low levels of public knowledge and awareness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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