Waterborne Parasites in Sarawak, Malaysia

Richard RL, Ithoi I, Abd Majid MA, Wan Sulaiman WY, Tan TC, Nissapatorn V, Lim YA. Monitoring of Waterborne Parasites in Two Drinking Water Treatment Plants: A Study in Sarawak, Malaysia. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2016 Jun 28;13(7). pii: E641. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13070641.

The occurrence of waterborne parasites coupled with water parameters at various processing sites of two drinking water treatment plants (A and B) and seven distribution system (DS) sites in Sarawak, Malaysia were studied. Ten liters of water underwent immunomagnetic separation (IMS) technique to detect the presence of Giardia and Cryptosporidium (oo)cysts. The remaining supernatant was used to detect other parasites whilst 50 mL of water sample was each used in the detection of free-living amoebae and fecal coliforms. Sampled water was positive for Giardia (32.9%; 28/85), Cryptosporidium (18.8%; 16/85) followed by Spirometra ova-like (25.9%; 22/85), Blastocystis-like (25.9%; 22/85), nematode larvae-like (8.2%; 7/85) and Taenia ova-like (1.2%; 1/85). Meanwhile, 90.2% (55/61) samples were positive for Acanthamoeba and Naegleria via cultivation and of these, 11 isolates were confirmed as Acanthamoeba genotype T3 (5/7) and T4 (2/7) followed by Naegleria sp. (4/11), Naegleria italica (2/11), Naegleria australiensis (1/11), Naegleria angularis (1/11) and Vahlkampfia sp. (3/11). Cryptosporidium, Acanthamoeba and Naegleria were also detected in one of the seven tested DS sites. Only Giardia and Cryptosporidium showed significant correlations with fluoride and fecal coliforms. These results describe the occurrence of waterborne parasites that will assist key stakeholders in mitigating contamination at the specific sites.

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