This chapter is designed to study the ecology of zoonotic cryptosporidiosis in watersheds containing cattle farming operations. Cryptosporidium parvum is an intestinal protozoan parasite which largely infects cattle but produces a chronic life-threatening diarrheal disease in immunocompromised people. The pathogen is frequently transmitted via drinking water as a result of contamination of surface waters by agricultural runoff. Many pollutants, such as C. parvum, are difficult, expensive, or infeasible to be monitored continuously in water sources. This chapter presents a study that used digital maps of 100-year flood plain boundaries, land use and cover, and livestock operations in well-defined watersheds of the Susquehanna River Basin, the USA, to characterize privately owned beef and dairy cattle farms. This cross-sectional study revealed that 64% of the 50 farms in the study area yielded at least one sample positive for C. parvum, and 44% of the farms had the pathogen present in multiple manure samples. The results have implications for drinking water safety as climatic data for the US mid-Atlantic region reveal changes in the pattern of precipitation and disproportional increase in heavy precipitation events as well as flooding.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Cryptosporidium|
|Subtitle of host publication||From Molecules to Disease|
|Number of pages||3|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 17 2003|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)