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DETECTION OF CRYPTOSPORIDIUM PARVUM AND GIARDIA LAMBLIA CARRIED BY SYNANTHROPIC FLIES BY COMBINED FLUORESCENT IN SITU HYBRIDIZATION AND A MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY

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  • 1 The W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, and Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; Division of Environmental Health, On-Site Wastewater Section, Raleigh, North Carolina; Division of Parasitic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Fluorometrics Research Team, Department of Biologic Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Wild-caught synanthropic flies were tested for the presence of Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia on their exoskeletons and in their digestive tracks by fluorescent in situ hybridization and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)–conjugated monoclonal antibody (MAb) against Cryptosporidium and Giardia cell wall epitopes. The levels of C. parvum were positively correlated with the levels of G. lamblia, indicating a common source of contamination. The majority of oocysts and cysts were potentially viable (C. parvum = 80% and G. lamblia = 69%). More G. lamblia cysts occurred on the exoskeleton of the flies than within the digestive tracts; the opposite relationship was observed for C. parvum. No genotype other than C. parvum G2 was found to be associated with flies. Because filth flies carry viable C. parvum oocysts and G. lamblia cysts acquired naturally from unhygienic sources, they can be involved in the epidemiology of cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis. Fluorescent oligonucleotide probes used together with FITC–conjugated MAb represent a convenient and cost-effective technique for rapid and specific identification of human-infectious species of Cryptosporidium and Giardia mechanically transported by flies, and for the assessment of the viability of these pathogens.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Thaddeus K. Graczyk, The W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, Telephone: 410-614-4984, Fax: 410-955-0105, E-mail: tgraczyk@jhsph.edu.
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