Cryptosporidium and Giardia in wastewater and surface water environments

Kerry A. Hamilton, Monique Waso, Brandon Reyneke, Nazanin Saeidi, Audrey Levine, Cindy Lalancette, Marie Claude Besner, Wesaal Khan, Warish Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Cryptosporidium and Giardia spp. Are significant contributors to the global waterborne disease burden. Waterways used as sources of drinking water and for recreational activity can become contaminated through the introduction of fecal materials derived from humans and animals. Multiple studies have reported the occurence or concentrations of these pathogens in the environment. However, this information has not been comprehensively reviewed. Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) for Cryptosporidium and Giardia can be beneficial, but it often relies on the concentrations in environmental sources reported from the literature. A thorough literature review was conducted to develop an inventory of reported Cryptosporidium and Giardia concentrations in wastewater and surface water available in the literature. This information can be used to develop QMRA inputs. Cryptosporidium and Giardia (oo)cyst concentrations in untreated wastewater were up to 60, 000 oocysts L-1 and 100, 000 cysts L-1, respectively. The maximum reported concentrations for Cryptosporidium and Giardia in surface water were 8400 oocysts L-1 and 1000 cysts L-1, respectively. A summary of the factors for interpretation of concentration information including common quantification methods, survival and persistence, biofilm interactions, genotyping, and treatment removal is provided in this review. This information can help in identifying assumptions implicit in various QMRA parameters, thus providing the context and rationale to guide model formulation and application. Additionally, it can provide valuable information for water quality practitioners striving to meet the recreational water quality or treatment criteria. The goal is for the information provided in the current review to aid in developing source water protection and monitoring strategies that will minimize public health risks. Copyright c

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1023
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Cryptosporidium and Giardia in wastewater and surface water environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this