Microbial Ecology

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 585–592 | Cite as

Environmental Inactivation of Cryptosporidium parvum Oocysts in Waste Stabilization Ponds

  • Roberto ReinosoEmail author
  • Eloy Bécares
Original Article


The survival of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in a waste stabilization pond system in northwestern Spain and the effects of sunlight and the depth and type of pond on oocyst viability were evaluated using an assay based on the exclusion or inclusion of two fluorogenic vital dyes, 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) and propidium iodide (PI). All tested factors had significant effects (P < 0.01) over time on C. parvum oocyst viability. Sunlight exposure was the most influential factor for oocyst inactivation. A 40% reduction was observed after 4 days exposure to sunlight conditions compared with dark conditions. The type of pond also caused a significant reduction in C. parvum oocyst viability (P < 0.01). Inactivation rates reflected that the facultative pond was the most aggressive environment for oocysts placed both at the surface (presence of sunlight) and at the bottom (absence of sunlight) of the pond, followed by the maturation pond and the anaerobic pond. The mean inactivation rates of oocysts in the ponds ranged from 0.0159 to 0.3025 day−1.


Hydraulic Retention Time Sunlight Exposure Inactivation Rate Cryptosporidium Parvum Chlorine Dioxide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was financially supported by the Castilla and León Institute for Agricultural Technology (ITACyL) under contract LE-02-2005 entitled “Health Risks in Using Waste Water in Agriculture”. We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Professor A.M. Grimason, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Strathclyde for constructive comments and critical review of the manuscript. We would also like to thank Natalia Reinoso for her technical assistance during this project. R. Reinoso was funded by the University of León.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Research InstituteUniversity of LeónLeónSpain
  2. 2.Department of Ecology, Faculty of Biological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of LeónLeónSpain

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