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Cryptosporidium and Giardia

What Are Cryptosporidium and Giardia?

Cryptosporidium and Giardia are two protozoa that can infect the gut of mammals and cause severe diarrhea, and in some cases of those with weakened or compromised immune systems, death. They are commonly found in water in their encysted (egg-like) state, having been passed from the host in fecal matter. 


How Are Cryptosporidium and Giardia Recovered?

These two protozoa are concentrated from drinking water (DW), groundwater (GW), surface water (SW) or wastewater (WW) by either continuous flow centrifugation (CFC) or filtration using Envirochek™ filter capsules.  Immunomagnetic beads capture protozoa from sample concentrates, permitting the removal of interfering debris from the sample. Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts are dissociated from the immunomagnetic beads and then bound to fluorescently labeled antibodies, that facilitate microscopic visualization and counting.


Cryptosporidium Examination Under Microscopy


 FA                                  DAPI                                 DIC 


Who Should Be Concerned About Cryptosporidium and Giardia?

Water filtration plants should be concerned about these two protozoa. Water plant filtration systems must be capable of filtering out these pathogens.Those people with weakened or compromised immune systems should be aware of the possibility of infection when exposed to cysts and oocysts in the environment.



How Can Scientific Methods Help Me?

We are a full service microbiology laboratory that provides testing and analysis services to clients throughout the US.  We can assist you in the development of your water safety plan and analyze samples.



What Are Key Regulations/Standards for Cryptosporidium and Giardia?

The EPA rule known as LT2 requires water systems to test for Cryptosporidium over a designated period of time. All water systems are divided into categories determined by population and water source. Water systems sample their source water if they use surface water or groundwater under the influence of surface water to produce drinking water. All water systems that are required to test for Cryptosporidium must do so for 2 rounds of testing. The final stage of Round 2 Testing begins in April of 2019.



No Cryptosporidium should be present in drinking water.



Scientific Methods has received approval by the EPA to process Cryptosporidium and Giardia samples with the Continuous Flow Centrifuge (CFC).  We have proven our ability to process samples via this sampling technique through the lab approval program and the continued participation in the semi annual proficiency testing program for the EPA LT2 regulation.  The benefits of this technique include increased recoveries, lack of fouling and clogging that can be observed with filters, and the ability to process matrices not practical with filters.   We also offers EPA approved filtration methods for clients that wish to perform filtration in the field for large volume samples.



All samples are processed using EPA Method 1623 for the recovery of Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

Please contact us for pricing and sampling instructions.

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