We developed an immunocapture-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for simultaneous detection of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts and Giardia intestinalis cysts in surface water. Using primer pairs Cry9/Cry15 and LaxA/LaxB for Cryptosporidium and Gdh1/Gdh4 for Giardia, the sensitivity of the entire detection procedure (dealing with concentration, separation, DNA purification and PCR amplification) was at the level of 50-100 oocysts and cysts. Of 54 surface water samples, 4 were positive for Cryptosporidium and 1 for Giardia. Cryptosporidium and Giardia were detected for the first time in surface water in Finland.
Isolates from 25 (13 sporadic and 12 outbreak) cryptosporidiosis cases, 24 of which were from British Columbia, Canada, were characterized using nested polymerase chain reaction amplification of the polymorphic internal transcribed spacer 1 locus. Two predominant Cryptosporidium parvum genotypes were found. Twelve (8 sporadic and 4 outbreak) isolates amplified with the cry7/cry21 primer pair and 12 (5 sporadic and 7 outbreak) isolates amplified with the cry7/cryITS1 primer pair. Multi-locus gene analysis using sequence polymorphisms on 3 other loci, i.e., the thrombospondin-related adhesion protein gene, the dihydrofolate reductase gene, and the 18S rRNA gene on 8 (4 outbreak and 4 sporadic) isolates showed non-random association among the human and animal alleles of the 4 different C. parvum gene loci. Associations between these 2 parasite genotypes and different routes of cryptosporidiosis transmission such as zoonotic, anthroponotic, and waterborne transmission were studied using municipal population and agricultural information, as well as detection of C. parvum oocysts in municipal drinking water specimens of the residential communities of sporadic and outbreak cases.
An outbreak of cryptosporidiosis associated with exposure to outdoor swimming-pool water affected an estimated 800-1000 individuals. PCR products were obtained from faecal specimens from 30 individuals who tested positive for Cryptosporidium oocysts. RFLP and sequencing analyses showed that all individuals were infected with Cryptosporidium parvum. Among the infected individuals, five had just swum in an adjacent indoor pool during the same period, and had no identified contact with individuals linked to the outdoor pool. With the use of subgenotyping based on analysis of three mini- and microsatellite loci, MS1, TP14, and GP15, we could identify two sources of exposure. One subtype was associated with the outdoor pool and another with the indoor pool. These data demonstrate that the use of mini- and microsatellite loci as markers for molecular fingerprinting of C. parvum isolates are valuable in the epidemiological investigation of outbreaks.
In March 2012, a second outbreak of Cryptosporidium parvum affected children following a stay at a holiday farm in Norway; the first outbreak occurred in 2009. We studied a cohort of 145 schoolchildren who had visited the farm, of which 40 (28%) were cases. Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in faecal samples from humans, goat kids and lambs. Molecular studies revealed C. parvum subtype IIa A19G1R1 in all samples including human samples from the 2009 outbreak. A dose-response relationship was found between the number of optional sessions with animals and illness, increasing from two sessions [risk ratio (RR) 2·7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·6-11·5] to six sessions (RR 8·0, 95% CI 1·7-37·7). The occurrence of two outbreaks 3 years apart, with the same subtype of C. parvum, suggests that the parasite is established in the farm's environment. We recommend greater emphasis on hand hygiene and routines related to animal contact.
Two related outbreaks (in 2009 and 2012) of cryptosporidiosis in Norwegian schoolchildren during a stay at a remote holiday farm provided us with a natural experiment to investigate possible secondary transmission of Cryptosporidium parvum IIa A19G1R1. After the children had returned home, clinical data and stool samples were obtained from their household contacts. Samples were investigated for the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts by immunofluorescence antibody test. We found both asymptomatic and symptomatic infections, which are likely to have been secondary transmission. Laboratory-confirmed transmission rate was 17% [4/23, 95% confidence interval (CI) 7·0-37·1] in the 2009 outbreak, and 0% (95% CI 0-16·8) in the 2012 outbreak. Using a clinical definition, the probable secondary transmission rate in the 2012 outbreak was 8% (7/83, 95% CI 4·1-16·4). These findings highlight the importance of hygienic and public health measures during outbreaks or individual cases of cryptosporidiosis. We discuss our findings in light of previous studies reporting varying secondary transmission rates of Cryptosporidium spp.
Cites: Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Aug 1;33(3):280-811438890