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Detection of Microsporidia in Environmental Waters

Investigators
Petterson, Lynne
Institutions
EPA Office of Research and Development
Start date
1999
End date
1999
Objective
Develop a method to detect microsporidians in water. The approach will include the development of monoclonal antibodies, adaptation of standard immunofluorescent techniques used for Giardia and Cryptosporidium and the development of fluorescent in situ hybridization probes.
More information
The health effects associated with various waterborne pathogenic microorganisms has been well documented. During the last quarter century protozoan parasites like Giardia and Cryptosporidium have been added to this group. To date, however, the causes of many cases of waterborne gastroenteritis have not been resolved. Microsporidians, which are on the Agency's Contaminant Candidate List, are obligate intracellular parasites of invertebrates, fish, laboratory rodents, rabbits, and primates. With the advent of the AIDS epidemic, microsporidians have become fully recognized as emerging agents of human disease. The transmission form is an environmentally resistant spore which range in size from 1 to 3 Fm in diameter. These protozoan parasites are transmitted in a fecal-oral mode by contaminated food, fomites, or water. Since several microsporidian genera from humans localize in either the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts, they can challenge wastewater treatment facilities and eventually get into surface drinking water sources. The purpose of this project is to develop a method to assess the levels of microsporidians in water sources and supplies. The approach will include the development of monoclonal antibodies, adaptation of standard immunofluorescent techniques used for Giardia and Cryptosporidium and the development of fluorescent in situ hybridization probes. To date, fluorescent in situ hybridization probes have been developed to the genus Encephalitozoon and to the species E. hellem.
Project number
15801
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game