Environmental and geographical factors contributing to watershed contamination with Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts

Thaddeus K. Graczyk, Barry Michael Evans, Clive J. Shiff, Hubert J. Karreman, Jonathan A. Patz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cryptosporidium parvum is a waterborne parasite which infects cattle and produces life-threatening zoonosis in people with impaired immune systems. Digital maps of 100-year floodplain boundaries, land use/cover, and livestock operations were used to select and characterize cattle farms in the floodplain area in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. Over 21% of the cattle farms were located within 100-year floodplain boundaries. On average, a single farm comprised 12.8 ha of pasture (including buildings and farmyard) at risk of inundation. In all farms cattle had unlimited access to the creek. Manure samples collected from closed-in calf pens, cow/heifer yard runoff, and cattle paths through the creek were tested for C. parvum. On 64% of the farms (n = 50) at least one sample was positive for C. parvum, and 44% of the farms had oocysts in all manure samples. Concentration varied from 90 to 371 oocysts/g and was significantly higher (P< 0.02) in calf samples than in manure from cow and cow/heifer. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-271
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume82
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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