Submitted to: Parasitology Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 4, 2002
Publication Date: November 1, 2002
Citation: FAYER, R., TROUT, J.M., JENKINS, M.C., XIAO, L., GRACZYK, T.K. TEMPORAL VARIABILITY OF CRYPTOSPORIDIUM IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY. PARASITOLOGY RESEARCH. 2002. Vol. 88:998-1003.
Interpretive Summary: Cryptosporidiosis is a protozoan disease of animals and humans spread through fecal contamination of food and water. Calves have a high incidence of infection and may be a major source of environmental contamination. Because oysters filter large quantities of water and retain filtered particles in their body, including protozoa, they are good indicators of contamination. The present study found a significant correlation between a high prevalence of Cryptosporidium in oysters and high rainfall, high streamflow, and low water temperature. The impact of rainfall on dissemination of animal feces into surface water is an important factor related to manure management in animal agriculture.
Oysters were collected 8 times from 7 sites in the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries with accompanying data on water temperature, salinity, rainfall, and streamflow. Gill washings were examined by immunofluorescence microscopy for Cryptosporidium oocysts. Of 1590 oysters, 19.6% had detectable oocysts. Of 53 collections, oocysts were detected 81% of the time. The time when the greatest percentage of oysters at most sites had detectable oocysts coincided with the time of greatest weekly and monthly rainfall, greatest stream flow into the Bay, and lowest water temperatures. Cryptosporidium parvum genotype 1 and 2, and C. baileyi were identified by PCR and gene sequencing. Oocyst infectivity was confirmed from 37.5% of the collections by initiating infections in mice. These data indicate a significant relationship between high rainfall, high streamflow, low water temperature, and the presence of Cryptosporidium in oysters. The impact of rainfall on dissemination of animal feces into surface water is an important factor related to manure management in animal agriculture.