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Comparative Study on Waterborne Parasites between Malaysia and Thailand: A New Insight

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  • Department of Parasitology (Southeast Asia Water Team), Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Thailand; Biological Sciences Department, College of Science and Computer Studies, De La Salle University - Dasmariñas, Dasmariñas, The Philippines; School of Science and Technology, Centro Escolar University, Manila, The Philippines

This study investigated the distribution of parasites as main contaminants in water environments of peninsular Malaysia (October 2011–December 2011) and the southeastern coast of Thailand (June 2012). Sixty-four water samples, 33 from Malaysia and 31 from Thailand, of various water types were examined according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. Drinking or household water types from both countries were free from parasitic contamination. The recreational/environmental (except a swimming pool in Malaysia) and effluent water types from these two countries were contaminated with waterborne parasites: Giardia (0.04–4 cysts/L), Cryptosporidium (0.06–2.33 oocysts/L), hookworm (6.67–350 ova/L), Ascaris (0.33–33.33 ova/L), and Schistosoma (9.25–13.33 ova/L). The most contaminated sites were recreational lake garden 3 in Malaysia and river 2 in Thailand. Higher concentrations of Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and hookworm were found in samples from Malaysia than in samples from Thailand. The presence of Giardia cysts showed a significant association with the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts (P < 0.005).

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Veeranoot Nissapatorn, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. E-mails: veeranoot@um.edu.my or nissapat@gmail.com

Financial support: This study was supported by University of Malaya High Impact Research Grant UM-MOHE UM.C/625/1/HIR/MOHE/MED/18 from the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia, PV 049/2011B, PV 014/2012A, PG117-2012B, UMRG 374/11HTM, UMRG 488/12HTM and the Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University Research Fund, Thailand.

Disclosure: Part of this work have been presented in 5th ASEAN Congress of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology (ACTMP), Manila, The Philippines, 15–17 May, 2012.

Authors' addresses: Thulasi Kumar, Subashini Onichandran, Yvonne A. L. Lim, Init Ithoi, Hemah Andiappan, Tan Tian Chye, Wan Y. W. Sulaiman, Yee Ling Lau, and Veeranoot Nissapatorn, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, E-mails: thulasi_asi@yahoo.com, subashinionichandran@yahoo.com, limailian@um.edu.my, init@um.edu.my, april_hem@yahoo.com, tantianchye@um.edu.my, wanyus@um.edu.my, lauyeeling@um.edu.my, and nissapat@gmail.com or thulasi_asi@yahoo.com. Nongyao Sawangjaroen, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Thailand, E-mail: nongyao.s@psu.ac.th. Cristina C. Salibay, Biological Science Department, De La Salle University-Dasmarinas, Dasmarinas, The Philippines, E-mail: cgcsaibay@yahoo.com. Julieta Z. Dungca, School of Science and Technology, Centro Escolar University, Manila, The Philippines, E-mail: julie_dungca@yahoo.com.

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