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Serological responses to Cryptosporidium antigens in inhabitants of Hungary using conventionally filtered surface water and riverbank filtered drinking water

  • K. FARKAS (a1) (a2), J. PLUTZER (a1), E. MOLTCHANOVA (a3), A. TÖRÖK (a1), M. J. VARRÓ (a4), K. DOMOKOS (a1), F. FROST (a5) and P. R. HUNTER (a6)...

Summary

In this study the putative protective seroprevalence (PPS) of IgG antibodies to the 27-kDa and 15/17-kDa Cryptosporidium antigens in sera of healthy participants who were and were not exposed to Cryptosporidium oocysts via surface water-derived drinking water was compared. The participants completed a questionnaire regarding risk factors that have been shown to be associated with infection. The PPS was significantly greater (49−61%) in settlements where the drinking water originated from surface water, than in the control city where riverbank filtration was used (21% and 23%). Logistic regression analysis on the risk factors showed an association between bathing/swimming in outdoor pools and antibody responses to the 15/17-kDa antigen complex. Hence the elevated responses were most likely due to the use of contaminated water. Results indicate that waterborne Cryptosporidium infections occur more frequently than reported but may derive from multiple sources.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: K. Farkas, PhD, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. (Email address: fkata211@gmail.com)

References

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1. Plutzer, J, et al. First investigations into the prevalence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia spp. in Hungarian drinking water. Journal of Water and Health 2007; 5: 573584.
2. Elwin, K, et al. Serological responses to Cryptosporidium in human populations living in areas reporting high and low incidences of symptomatic cryptosporidiosis. Clinical Microbiology and Infection 2007; 13: 11791185.
3. Frost, F, et al. Serological responses to Cryptosporidium antigens among women using riverbank-filtered water, conventionally filtered surface water and groundwater in Hungary. Journal of Water and Health 2005; 3: 7782.
4. McAnulty, JM, et al. Contaminated drinking water in one town manifesting as an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in another. Epidemiology and Infection 2000; 125: 7986.
5. Muller, TB, et al. Serological responses to Cryptosporidium infection [multiple letters]. Infection and Immunity 2001; 69: 19741975.
6. Frost, FJ, et al. Serological responses to Cryptosporidium antigens among users of surface- vs. ground-water sources. Epidemiology and Infection 2003; 131: 11311138.
7. Frost, FJ, et al. Serological evidence of Cryptosporidium infections in southern Europe. European Journal of Epidemiology 2000; 16: 385390.
8. Kozisek, F, et al. Serological responses to Cryptosporidium-specific antigens in Czech populations with different water sources. Epidemiology and Infection 2008; 136: 279286.
9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cryptosporidium – epidemiology and risk factors (www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto).
10. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. (http://www.R-project.org/).

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