Tag Archives: cryptosporidium

Economic Assessment of Cryptosporidiosis Outbreak, Ireland

Chyzheuskaya A, Srivinas R, O’Donovan D, Prendergast M, O’Donoghue C, Morris D. Economic Assessment of Waterborne Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis. Emerging infectious diseases. 2017 Oct;23(10):1650-1656. doi: 10.3201/eid2310.152037.

In 2007, a waterborne outbreak of Cryptosporidium hominis infection occurred in western Ireland, resulting in 242 laboratory-confirmed cases and an uncertain number of unconfirmed cases. A boil water notice was in place for 158 days that affected 120,432 persons residing in the area, businesses, visitors, and commuters. This outbreak represented the largest outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Ireland. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cost of this outbreak. We adopted a societal perspective in estimating costs associated with the outbreak. Economic cost estimated was based on totaling direct and indirect costs incurred by public and private agencies. The cost of the outbreak was estimated based on 2007 figures. We estimate that the cost of the outbreak was >€19 million (≈€120,000/day of the outbreak). The US dollar equivalent based on today’s exchange rates would be $22.44 million (≈$142,000/day of the outbreak). This study highlights the economic need for a safe drinking water supply.

Cryptosporidium Infection in Cattle, China

Gong C, Cao XF, Deng L, Li W, Huang XM, Lan JC, Xiao QC, Zhong ZJ, Feng F, Zhang Y, Wang WB, Guo P, Wu KJ, Peng GN. Epidemiology of Cryptosporidium infection in cattle in China: a review. Parasite. 2017;24:1. doi: 10.1051/parasite/2017001.

The present review discusses the findings of cryptosporidiosis research conducted in cattle in China and highlights the currently available information on Cryptosporidium epidemiology, genetic diversity, and distribution in China, which is critical to understanding the economic and public health importance of cryptosporidiosis transmission in cattle. To date, 10 Cryptosporidium species have been detected in cattle in China, with an overall infection rate of 11.9%. The highest rate of infection (19.5%) was observed in preweaned calves, followed by that in juveniles (10.69%), postweaned juveniles (9.0%), and adult cattle (4.94%). The dominant species were C. parvum in preweaned calves and C. andersoni in postweaned, juvenile, and adult cattle. Zoonotic Cryptosporidium species (C. parvum and C. hominis) were found in cattle, indicating the possibility of transmission between humans and cattle. Different cattle breeds had significant differences in the prevalence rate and species of Cryptosporidium. This review demonstrates an age-associated, breed-associated, and geographic-related occurrence of Cryptosporidium and provides references for further understanding of the epidemiological characteristics, and for preventing and controlling the disease.

C. hominis, C. parvum dominant in China

Feng Y, Xiao L. Molecular Epidemiology of Cryptosporidiosis in China. Frontiers in microbiology. 2017 Sep 6;8:1701. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2017.01701.

Molecular epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis is an active research area in China. The use of genotyping and subtyping tools in prevalence studies has led to the identification of unique characteristics of Cryptosporidium infections in humans and animals. Human cryptosporidiosis in China is exemplified by the high diversity of Cryptosporidium spp. at species and subtype levels, with dominant C. hominis and C. parvum subtypes being rarely detected in other countries. Similarly, preweaned dairy calves, lambs, and goat kids are mostly infected with non-pathogenic Cryptosporidium species (C. bovis in calves and C. xiaoi in lambs and goat kids), with C. parvum starting to appear in dairy calves as a consequence of concentrated animal feeding operations. The latter Cryptosporidium species is dominated by IId subtypes, with IIa subtypes largely absent from the country. Unlike elsewhere, rodents in China appear to be commonly infected with C. parvum IId subtypes, with identical subtypes being found in these animals, calves, other livestock, and humans. In addition to cattle, pigs and chickens appear to be significant contributors to Cryptosporidium contamination in drinking water sources, as reflected by the frequent detection of C. suis, C. baileyi, and C. meleagridis in water samples. Chinese scientists have also made significant contributions to the development of new molecular epidemiological tools for Cryptosporidium spp. and improvements in our understanding of the mechanism involved in the emergence of hyper-transmissible and virulent C. hominis and C. parvum subtypes. Despite this progress, coordinated research efforts should be made to address changes in Cryptosporidium transmission because of rapid economic development in China and to prevent the introduction and spread of virulent and zoonotic Cryptosporidium species and subtypes in farm animals.

Cryptosporidium Risks Associated with Potable Reuse

Amoueyan E, Ahmad S, Eisenberg JNS, Pecson B, Gerrity D. Quantifying pathogen risks associated with potable reuse: A risk assessment case study for Cryptosporidium. Water research 2017 Apr 19;119:252-266. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.04.048.

This study evaluated the reliability and equivalency of three different potable reuse paradigms: (1) surface water augmentation via de facto reuse with conventional wastewater treatment; (2) surface water augmentation via planned indirect potable reuse (IPR) with ultrafiltration, pre-ozone, biological activated carbon (BAC), and post-ozone; and (3) direct potable reuse (DPR) with ultrafiltration, ozone, BAC, and UV disinfection. A quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) was performed to (1) quantify the risk of infection from Cryptosporidium oocysts; (2) compare the risks associated with different potable reuse systems under optimal and sub-optimal conditions; and (3) identify critical model/operational parameters based on sensitivity analyses. The annual risks of infection associated with the de facto and planned IPR systems were generally consistent with those of conventional drinking water systems [mean of (9.4 ± 0.3) × 10-5 to (4.5 ± 0.1) × 10-4], while DPR was clearly superior [mean of (6.1 ± 67) × 10-9 during sub-optimal operation]. Because the advanced treatment train in the planned IPR system was highly effective in reducing Cryptosporidium concentrations, the associated risks were generally dominated by the pathogen loading already present in the surface water. As a result, risks generally decreased with higher recycled water contributions (RWCs). Advanced treatment failures were generally inconsequential either due to the robustness of the advanced treatment train (i.e., DPR) or resiliency provided by the environmental buffer (i.e., planned IPR). Storage time in the environmental buffer was important for the de facto reuse system, and the model indicated a critical storage time of approximately 105 days. Storage times shorter than the critical value resulted in significant increases in risk. The conclusions from this study can be used to inform regulatory decision making and aid in the development of design or operational criteria for IPR and DPR systems.

Investigating a Waterborne Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis; Ireland

Mahon M, Doyle S. Waterborne outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in the South East of Ireland: weighing up the evidence. Ir J Med Sci. 2017 Jan 13. doi: 10.1007/s11845-016-1552-1.

BACKGROUND: In late Spring 2012, 12 cases of cryptosporidiosis in a town in the South East of Ireland were notified to the regional Department of Public Health.

AIM: The purpose of this paper is to describe the outbreak and the investigative process which led to the conclusion that the source was a public drinking water supply.

METHODS: Outbreak and incident control teams were convened to investigate and control the outbreak.

RESULTS: Eleven cases were speciated as Cryptosporidium parvum. GP60 analysis demonstrated that 10 were C. parvum IIaA20G3R1, indicating that the cases were linked. The public water supply was the only common risk factor identified. Increased water sampling identified Cryptosporidium muris/andersoni in the treated water at one of two water treatment plants (Water Treatment Plant, WTP A) for the supply, and on the network. C. parvum was subsequently identified in raw water from WTP A.

CONCLUSIONS: The Health Service Executive (HSE) concluded that this outbreak was “probably associated with water” produced at WTP A based on (1) descriptive epidemiological evidence suggesting water-related illness and excluding other obvious explanations; and (2) water treatment failure at WTP A. WTP A was closed to facilitate an upgrade. No boil water notice was required as a supplementary supply was available. The upgrade was completed and the incident closed in 2013.

Appropriate Water Treatment is Required to Remove or Inactivate Cryptosporidium

A whole flock of epidemiologists fly in to discover the cause of a cryptosporidiosis outbreak, only to find what has been known for more than 3 decades. The appropriate water treatment processes must be in place to remove cryptosporidium if present in a source water other wise cryptosporidium happens. Watershed protection efforts can help but not ensure that these events will not happen. Just writing more federal and state regulations does not prevent waterborne disease outbreaks. Responsible planning, vigilance, and action at the local level is what it takes.

DeSILVA MB, Schafer S, Kendall Scott M, Robinson B, Hills A, Buser GL, Salis K, Gargano J, Yoder J, Hill V, Xiao L, Roellig D, Hedberg K. Communitywide cryptosporidiosis outbreak associated with a surface water-supplied municipal water system – Baker City, Oregon, 2013. Epidemiology and Infection. 2015 Aug 12:1-11.

Cryptosporidium, a parasite known to cause large drinking and recreational water outbreaks, is tolerant of chlorine concentrations used for drinking water treatment. Human laboratory-based surveillance for enteric pathogens detected a cryptosporidiosis outbreak in Baker City, Oregon during July 2013 associated with municipal drinking water. Objectives of the investigation were to confirm the outbreak source and assess outbreak extent. The watershed was inspected and city water was tested for contamination. To determine the community attack rate, a standardized questionnaire was administered to randomly sampled households. Weighted attack rates and confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Water samples tested positive for Cryptosporidium species; a Cryptosporidium parvum subtype common in cattle was detected in human stool specimens. Cattle were observed grazing along watershed borders; cattle faeces were observed within watershed barriers. The city water treatment facility chlorinated, but did not filter, water. The community attack rate was 28·3% (95% CI 22·1-33·6), sickening an estimated 2780 persons. Watershed contamination by cattle probably caused this outbreak; water treatments effective against Cryptosporidium were not in place. This outbreak highlights vulnerability of drinking water systems to pathogen contamination and underscores the need for communities to invest in system improvements to maintain multiple barriers to drinking water contamination.

Communal Well Water a Source of Crytosporidium, Giardia Exposure

It is likely that this well is under the direct influence of surface water or somehow has been contaminated. Wells under the direct influence of surface water should be considered to be surface water and thereby contain the larger microbial pathogens such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. 

Monitoring of pathogens (as was done here) is not necessary to determine whether a well is under the direct influence of surface. Others methods (e.g. MPA) can be used for this purpose. Once a water source has been identified as being under direct influence of surface water the presence of pathogens should be assumed.

Balderrama-Carmona AP, Gortáres-Moroyoqui P, Alvarez-Valencia LH, Castro-Espinoza L, Balderas-Cortés JD, Mondaca-Fernández I, Chaidez-Quiroz C, Meza-Montenegro MM. Quantitative microbial risk assessment of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in well water from a native community of Mexico. International Journal of Environmental Health Research. 2014 Dec 10:1-13.

Cryptosporidium and Giardia are gastrointestinal disease-causing organisms transmitted by the fecal-oral route, zoonotic and prevalent in all socioeconomic segments with greater emphasis in rural communities. The goal of this study was to assess the risk of cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis of Potam dwellers consuming drinking water from communal well water. To achieve the goal, quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) was carried out as follows: (a) identification of Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts in well water samples by information collection rule method, (b) assessment of exposure to healthy Potam residents, (c) dose-response modelling, and (d) risk characterization using an exponential model. All well water samples tested were positive for Cryptosporidium and Giardia. The QMRA results indicate a mean of annual risks of 99:100 (0.99) for cryptosporidiosis and 1:1 (1.0) for giardiasis. The outcome of the present study may drive decision-makers to establish an educational and treatment program to reduce the incidence of parasite-borne intestinal infection in the Potam community, and to conduct risk analysis programs in other similar rural communities in Mexico.

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