Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Cryptosporodium in farm and wild animals and the implications for water contamination - WA0515

Description
This study will aim to provide quantitative information on the distribution of the intestinal protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium in a community of farm and wild animals within a discrete sampling area. This information will then be related to locality, possibility of cross infection between animals and potential pathways for contamination of water courses. The study will be composed of 4 specific objectives outlined as follows, together with ways in which they might be achieved: 1. To maintain and update an existing database of the occurrence of Cryptosporidium in livestock and wild mammals. Livestock groups and wild mammals will be sampled quarterly for occurrence of oocysts. Some positive samples from each animal type will be tested for oocyst viability to check if animals pass potentially infective parasites; 2. To develop methodologies and expertise in trapping, tracking and sampling rates for estimation of population sizes, distributions and presence of Cryptosporidium and to determine occurrence of the parasite in rats. Rat populations will be examined using tracking plates, radio tracking and Fenn trapping approaches. 25-50 rat faecal samples per month will be tested for the presence of Cryptosporidium, with a proportion of samples checked for oocyst viability; 3. To develop methodologies and expertise in sampling and testing of physical media (stored animal wastes, substrates contaminated with faeces, static dirty water and drainage waters) for Cryptosporidium and to relate this to the potential for contamination of water courses. Routine sampling of farm animal wastes at various points along the route to the slurry lagoon on the study estate will be conducted; samples will be analysed for viable and non-viable oocysts; and 4. To provide appropriate quality assurance on laboratory testing and analyses via standard scientific protocols plus liaison and sample exchanges with accredited independent UK laboratories involved with Cryptosporidium. Results of the study will be presented graphically and quantitatively and will include maps of oocyst distribution, with flow charts illustrating probable contamination routes and relative oocyst numbers.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1995

To: 1998

Cost: £267,370
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Coventry
Keywords
              
Fields of Study
Environmental Protection - Agriculture