Indexed on: 15 Apr '11Published on: 15 Apr '11Published in: Science of the Total Environment
The aim of the present study was to investigate the environmental dispersal of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis in two distinct areas (coastal and inland) in Galicia (NW Spain). Faecal samples were collected from healthy asymptomatic domestic (cows and sheep) and wild animals (deer and wild boars) in the selected areas. In each of the selected areas, samples of untreated water (influent) and of treated water (final effluent) were collected from each of the 12 drinking water treatments plants (DWTPs) and 12 wastewater treatment plants (WTPs) under study. Analysis of a single sample from each of the 635 (coastal) and 851 (inland) domestic and wild animals selected at random revealed that the prevalences of cryptosporidiosis and giardiosis in coastal area were 9.2% and 15.9% respectively, and in inland area, 13.7% and 26.7% respectively. In the coastal area, Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts were detected in influent and effluent samples from 2/12 (16.6%) DWTPs and 8/12 (66.6%) WTPs, while G. duodenalis cysts were detected in influent and effluent samples from 3/12 (25.0%) DWTPs and 12/12 (100%) WTPs. The concentrations were notably higher in WTPs; the mean parasite concentrations in the final treated effluent were 10 oocysts per litre and 137.8 cysts per litre for Cryptosporidium and Giardia, respectively. The mean concentration of G. duodenalis cysts per litre was significantly higher (P<0.05) than the mean concentration of Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts per litre in both the influent and the effluent samples from all the treatment plants. In the coastal area, C. parvum, C. hominis and G. duodenalis assemblages A (I and II) and E were most repeatedly detected. In the inland area, C. parvum, C. andersoni and G. duodenalis assemblages A (I and II), B and E were most frequently identified.