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J Water Health. 2019 Feb;17(1):84-97. doi: 10.2166/wh.2018.323.

Weather, environmental conditions, and waterborne Giardia and Cryptosporidium in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Author information

1
Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, CanadaN1G 2W1 E-mail: s.masina23@gmail.com.
2
Nunavut Research Institute, P.O. Box 1720, Iqaluit, Nunavut, CanadaX0A 0H0.
3
Nunavut Research Institute, P.O. Box 1720, Iqaluit, Nunavut, CanadaX0A 0H0; Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, P.O. Box 2200, Iqaluit, Nunavut, CanadaX0A 0H0.
4
Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, CanadaN1G 2W1 E-mail: s.masina23@gmail.com; Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, CanadaN1G 2W1.
5
National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, 110 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario, CanadaN1G 3W4.
6
Hyperion Research Ltd, 1008 Allowance Avenue SE, Medicine Hat, Alberta, CanadaT1A 3G8.
7
Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, CanadaN1G 2W1.
8
Labrador Institute, Memorial University, 219 Hamilton River Road, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, CanadaA0P 1E0.
9
Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, CanadaN1G 2W1 E-mail: s.masina23@gmail.com; School of Public Health, University of Alberta, 3-300 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, 11405 - 87 Ave, Edmonton, Alberta, CanadaT6G 1C9.

Abstract

Indigenous communities in the Arctic often face unique drinking water quality challenges related to inadequate infrastructure and environmental contamination; however, limited research exists on waterborne parasites in these communities. This study examined Giardia and Cryptosporidium in untreated surface water used for drinking in Iqaluit, Canada. Water samples (n = 55) were collected weekly from June to September 2016 and tested for the presence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium using microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Exact logistic regressions were used to examine associations between parasite presence and environmental exposure variables. Using microscopy, 20.0% of samples tested positive for Giardia (n = 11) and 1.8% of samples tested positive for Cryptosporidium (n = 1). Low water temperatures (1.1 to 6.7 °C) and low air temperatures (-0.1 to 4.5 °C) were significantly associated with an increased odds of parasite presence (p = 0.047, p = 0.041, respectively). These results suggest that surface water contamination with Giardia and Cryptosporidium may be lower in Iqaluit than in other Canadian regions; however, further research should examine the molecular characterization of waterborne parasites to evaluate the potential human health implications in Northern Canada.

PMID:
30758306
PMCID:
wh_2018_323
DOI:
10.2166/wh.2018.323
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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