Assessment of methods for detection of infectious Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts in reclaimed effluents

W. Quintero-Betancourt, A. L. Gennaccaro, T. M. Scott, J. B. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


This study evaluates the occurrence of Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts in reclaimed effluents if method 1623 with the Envirochek capsule filters (standard and high-volume [HV] filters) and a modified version of the Information Collection Rule method (ICR) with the polypropylene yarn-wound cartridge filter are used. The recovery efficiency of the analytical methods was evaluated with samples of reagent, tap, and reclaimed water by using flow cytometer-sorted spike suspensions. (Oo)cyst recovery efficiency determined filter performance and method reproducibility in the water matrix tested. Method 1623 with the Envirochek HV capsule filter generated significantly higher recovery rates than did the standard Envirochek filter and the modified ICR method. Notwithstanding, large variations in recovery rates (>80%) occurred with samples of reclaimed water, and none of the water quality parameters analyzed in the reclaimed effluents could explain such variability. The highest concentrations of indigenous oocysts were detected by method 1623 with the HV filter, which provided a sufficient number of oocysts for further confirmation of infectious potential. Confirmation of species and potential infectivity for all positive protozoan samples was made by using a nested PCR restriction fragment polymorphism assay and the focus detection method most-probable-number assay, respectively. The methodology and results described in the present investigation provide useful information for the establishment of pathogen numeric standards for reclaimed effluents used for unrestricted irrigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5380-5388
Number of pages9
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Ecology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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