Cryptosporidium parvum in environmental samples in the Sligo area, Republic of Ireland: a preliminary report

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To detect Cryptosporidium in environmental specimens in the Republic of Ireland, grab samples of river water were prepared by calcium carbonate flocculation, and marine mussel tissue homogenated prior to testing with a fluorescently labelled monoclonal antibody and fluorescence microscopy. The parasite was detected in both river waters and marine mussels (Mytilus edulis). Filter feeders such as Mytilus edulis may be of value as biological monitors for the presence of cryptosporidial oocysts in sea water. The presence of Cryptosporidium in river and marine waters and, in particular, contaminating mussels used for human consumption, has obvious health implications.

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