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Thermal Contribution to the Inactivation of Cryptosporidium in Plastic Bottles during Solar Water Disinfection Procedures

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  • Laboratorio de Parasitología, Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain

To determine the thermal contribution, independent of ultraviolet radiation, on the inactivation of Cryptosporidium parvum during solar water disinfection procedures (SODIS), oocysts were exposed for 4, 8, and 12 hours to temperatures recorded in polyethylene terephthalate bottles in previous SODIS studies carried out under field conditions. Inclusion/exclusion of the fluorogenic vital dye propidium iodide, spontaneous excystation, and infectivity studies were used to determine the inactivation of oocysts. There was a significant increase in the percentage of oocysts that took up propidium iodide and in the number of oocysts that excysted spontaneously. There was also a significant decrease in the intensity of infection elicited in suckling mice at the end of all exposure times. The results of the study demonstrate the importance of temperature in the inactivation of C. parvum oocysts during application of SODIS under natural conditions.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Elvira Ares-Mazás, Laboratorio de Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Campus Universitario Sur, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain. E-mail: melvira.ares@usc.es

Financial support: This study was supported by the European Union (grant no. FP6-INCO-CT-2006-031650-SODISWATER).

Authors' address: Hipólito Gómez-Couso, María Fontán-Sainz, and Elvira Ares-Mazás, Laboratorio de Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Campus Universitario Sur, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain.

Reprint requests: Elvira Ares-Mazás, Laboratorio de Parasitología, Facultad de Farmacia, Campus Universitario Sur, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain, E-mail: melvira.ares@usc.es.

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