An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Survival Kinetics of Cryptosporidium Oocytes in Swine Facility Wastes of the Southern Piedmont and Coastal Plain Watersheds


<p>The long-term objective of the study is to minimize the impact of swine rearing facilities on their watersheds by abrogating or reducing the number of oocysts of Cryptosporidium species leaving the facilities in their waste streams. Specific objectives:</p>

<li>Determine the viability of oocysts within swine lagoons and material leaving the lagoons for land application.</li>
<li>Determine the effects of lagoon storage on the inactivation kinetics of oocysts placed within the lagoons in sentinel chambers.</li>
<li>Determine the inactivation kinetics of oocysts that have been land applied to forage crops after their treatment within a swine lagoon.</li>

More information

<p>Non-Technical Summary: Cryptosporidium species are protozoans that infect a wide range of hosts, including livestock, wildlife, and humans. In the environment, Cryptosporidium persists as a resistant oocyst stage. When ingested in food or water, this stage of the parasite can lead to the gastrointestinal disease cryptosporidiosis, for which there is no treatment, only therapy to alleviate the symptoms of watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, and sometimes vomiting. A chronic form of this malady may develop in individuals with immature or compromised immune systems, i.e., the very young or old, people infected with the HIV, those undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, and/or those who are malnourished. In such cases, cryptosporidiosis may lead to death. The objective of this project is to minimize the impact of swine rearing facilities on the watersheds where these facilities are located by removing or reducing the number of oocysts of Cryptosporidium species in their waste streams. We will identify and characterize the different types of Cryptosporidium in swine waste lagoons. We will examine how fast the oocysts in waste treatment lagoons die in order to ascertain the impact of existing treatments on the viability of oocysts that are applied to land. It is believed that because the oocysts of Cryptosporidium are hardier than many other pathogens that they can be used to monitor how well the processes remove or destroy pathogens in general to protect the environment from infectious agents.</p>

<p>Approach: The oocysts of Cryptosporidium are more resistant to inactivation by swine waste lagoons treatment than Salmonella, enteric bacteria and viruses (exceptions are the spores of Clostridium perfringens and the eggs of the swine helminths, Ascaris suum and Trichuris suis.) Overall though, processes that effectively inactivate or minimize the transport of oocysts will have a greater capacity to inactivate, remove, or entrap viruses and bacteria present in swine waste. Therefore, because the oocysts of Cryptosporidium are likely to be present in most if not all swine lagoons, we believe that they can be used as indicators of the effectiveness of swine waste lagoons in pathogen reduction. This work will examine the viability of oocysts present in lagoons, define the effects of the lagooning of swine waste (primary and secondary lagoon treatment) on oocyst inactivation, and it will examine the effects of pretreating swine waste in lagoons on the ability of oocysts to survive after land application.</p>

Cornell University
Start date
End date
Project number
Accession number