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      Survival of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts under various environmental pressures.

      Applied and Environmental Microbiology

      Animals, Calcium, pharmacology, Calcium Compounds, Cryptosporidiosis, prevention & control, Cryptosporidium parvum, drug effects, growth & development, metabolism, Desiccation, Electrolytes, Feces, microbiology, Ferric Compounds, Freezing, Humans, Indoles, Oxides, Propidium, Water Microbiology

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          The survival of various isolates of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts under a range of environmental pressures including freezing, desiccation, and water treatment processes and in physical environments commonly associated with oocysts such as feces and various water types was monitored. Oocyst viability was assessed by in vitro excystation and by a viability assay based on the exclusion or inclusion of two fluorogenic vital dyes. Although desiccation was found to be lethal, a small proportion of oocysts were able to withstand exposure to temperatures as low as -22 degrees C. The water treatment processes investigated did not affect the survival of oocysts when pH was corrected. However, contact with lime, ferric sulfate, or alum had a significant impact on oocyst survival if the pH was not corrected. Oocysts demonstrated longevity in all water types investigated, including seawater, and when in contact with feces were considered to develop an enhanced impermeability to small molecules which might increase the robustness of the oocysts when exposed to environmental pressures.

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