Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parasitic protozoons survive waste water and drinking water treatment plants in Galicia

Date:
February 23, 2011
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Researchers have detected parasitic protozoons in the effluent discharged from waste water and drinking water treatment plants in Galicia (Spain), as well as in the water in recreational areas. The protozoons studied, which are members of the Cryptosporidium and Giardia genuses, cause intestinal upsets in cattle and immunosuppressed people.

Cysts and oocysts seen by fluorescence microscopy.
Credit: Laboratorio de Parasitología (INGACAL-Xunta de Galicia)

Researchers from the Galician Institute of Food Quality have detected parasitic protozoons in the effluent discharged from waste water and drinking water treatment plants in Galicia (Spain), as well as in the water in recreational areas. The protozoons studied, which are members of the Cryptosporidium and Giardia genuses, cause intestinal upsets in cattle and immunosuppressed people.

Related Articles


"The presence of two resistent forms of protozoons, the oocysts from the Cryptosporidium genus and cysts of the Giardia genus, is one of the greatest public health problems in water supply, because these parasites can easily survive our water treatment systems," says José Antonio Castro Hermida, a scientist at the Galician Institute for Food Quality in the Xunta de Galicia (regional government).

A team led by this researcher took 232 water samples in 55 Galician towns, and confirmed the presence of these infectious life forms in waste water treatment plants, drinking water treatment plants, and recreational areas.

The results of the study, which has been published in the journal Water Research, reveal that Cryptosporidium and Giardia are widely distributed in the environment, and also highlight the ineffectiveness of the treatments used to reduce and deactivate these parasites.

Giardia cysts appeared in 96% of the waste water samples discharged from treatment plants, at levels of up to 6,000 per litre, while 64% of samples contained Cryptosporidium oocysts. These figures were 36.5% and 32.7%, respectively, in the case of drinking water treatment plants, and around 60% in recreational areas, for both protozoons.

It was also found that treatment plants located along the coastal belt discharge their effluent directly into the sea, while those located in inland areas get rid of their water straight into rivers. "This represents a significant risk to human and animal health," warns Castro Hermida.

Cryptosporidiosis and giardiosis are parasitic illnesses that cause a syndrome of poor nutrient absorption and diarrhoea in mammals and birds. This causes high morbidity and mortality rates in domestic ruminants during their first month of life, leading to significant economic losses for livestock farms. In humans, the prevalence of these two illnesses is heightened among people with AIDS and other immunosuppressant conditions

A global problem and possible solutions

The researchers acknowledge that it is not easy to find a definitive solution to these water-borne infections, which are found all over the world. Since the parasites can overcome the normal water treatment systems used in waste water and drinking water treatment plants, there are frequent outbreaks of epidemics, even in developed countries.

"Protecting water sources, making progress on treatment and monitoring the parameters of water quality indicators in real time are some of the preventive measures that can be put in place," says Castro Hermida, "as well as drawing up control plans to monitor the levels of presence, viability and ineffectiveness of these protozoons in the waste water from drinking water and waste water treatment plants."

Cooperation between governments and the industries involved in monitoring water is also considered essential. In the United Kingdom and the USA, the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), respectively, oblige water companies to monitor the presence or absence of these two parasites.

Legislation in Spain states that action must be taken to determine the amount of Cryptosporidium and other organisms in the water when water turbidity exceeds 5 UNF (the unit used to measure this aspect). However, 403,000 people were infected by this protozoon in Milwaukee (USA) in 1993, when water turbidity levels fluctuated between 0.25 and 1.70 UNF, so the researchers recommend that the presence of the two enteropathogens should be monitored at much lower turbidity levels.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. José Antonio Castro-Hermida, Ignacio García-Presedo, Marta González-Warleta, Mercedes Mezo. Cryptosporidium and Giardia detection in water bodies of Galicia, Spain. Water Research, 2010; 44 (20): 5887 DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2010.07.010

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Parasitic protozoons survive waste water and drinking water treatment plants in Galicia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223071304.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2011, February 23). Parasitic protozoons survive waste water and drinking water treatment plants in Galicia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223071304.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Parasitic protozoons survive waste water and drinking water treatment plants in Galicia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223071304.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins