An aquatic biomonitoring of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in river water corresponding to five villages situated in three states in peninsular Malaysia was determined. There were 51.3% (20/39) and 23.1% (9/39) samples positive for Giardia and Cryptosporidium (oo)cysts, respectively. Overall mean concentration between villages for Giardia cysts ranged from 0.10 to 25.80 cysts/l whilst Cryptosporidium oocysts ranged from 0.10 to 0.90 oocysts/l. Detailed results of the river samples from five villages indicated that Kuala Pangsun 100% (9/9), Kemensah 77.8% (7/9), Pos Piah 33.3% (3/9) and Paya Lebar 33.3% (1/3) were contaminated with Giardia cysts whilst Cryptosporidium (oo)cysts were only detected in Kemensah (100 %; 9/9) and Kuala Pangsun (66.6%; 6/9). However, the water samples from Bentong were all negative for these waterborne parasites. Samples were collected from lower point, midpoint and upper point. Midpoint refers to the section of the river where the studied communities are highly populated. Meanwhile, the position of the lower point is at least 2 km southward of the midpoint and upper point is at least 2 km northward of the midpoint. The highest mean concentration for (oo)cysts was found at the lower points [3.15 ± 6.09 (oo)cysts/l], followed by midpoints [0.66 ± 1.10 (oo)cysts/l] and upper points [0.66 ± 0.92 (oo)cysts/l]. The mean concentration of Giardia cysts was highest at Kuala Pangsun (i.e. 5.97 ± 7.0 cysts/l), followed by Kemensah (0.83 ± 0.81 cysts/l), Pos Piah (0.20 ± 0.35 cysts/l) and Paya Lebar (0.10 ± 0.19 cysts/l). On the other hand, the mean concentration of Cryptosporidium oocysts was higher at Kemensah (0.31 ± 0.19 cysts/l) compared to Kuala Pangsun (0.03 ± 0.03cysts/l). All the physical and chemical parameters did not show significant correlation with both protozoa. In future, viability status and molecular characterisation of Giardia and Cryptosporidium should be applied to identify species and genotypes/subgenotypes for better understanding of the epidemiology of these waterborne parasites.
Access to clean and safe drinking water that is free from pathogenic protozoan parasites, especially Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia that cause gastrointestinal illness in humans, is still an issue in Southeast Asia (SEA). This study is the first attempt to detect the aforementioned protozoan parasites in water samples from countries in SEA, using real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays.
A study to determine the contribution of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts from cattle farms was carried out at the Langat Basin. This study investigated the contribution of cattle farms, located near Sungai Langat and Sungai Semenyih, towards river contamination with these cysts and oocysts. The findings showed that out of 24 samples of water taken from Sungai Semenyih, 4.2% was positive for Giardia cysts with a concentration of 1.3 cysts/L and 20.8% were positive with Cryptosporidium oocysts with a range of 0.7 - 2.7 oocysts/L. At Sungai Langat, from the 43 samples taken, 23.3% were positive for Giardia cysts with a range of 1.5 - 9 cysts/L whereas 11.6% were positive with Cryptosporidium oocysts with a range of 2.5 - 240 oocysts/L. Isolation of cysts and oocysts in bovine faecal materials revealed that 14.6% of faecal samples were positive for Giardia cysts which had a range of 75 - 1.3x104 cysts/g and 25% were positive for Cryptosporidium oocysts with a range of 50 - 3.9x105 oocysts/g. From the cattle wastewater, 98% were positive with oocysts and 6.7% with cysts. The concentrations were between 20 - 3.1x103 oocysts/mL for Cryptosporidium and 4 - 75 cysts/mL for Giardia. Given that the prevalence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia are high amongst the cattle and the positive findings of the (oo)cysts in the river samples, it could be deduced that there is a very high possibility of the cattle farms contaminating the river with Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts. Viability study of Cryptosporidium oocysts in the surrounding soil and pond within the cattle farm showed that the viability of Cryptosporidium oocysts decreased with time. It was estimated that it will take 52 days for all the oocysts from both environment to be non-viable. With a viability rate of approximately 2 months in a cattle farm setup, river water contaminated with Cryptosporidium oocysts has a high chance of acting as an agent of transmission. As cattle farms are also inhabited by the owners and their families, this problem may pose a threat to humans (e.g. children) especially if they are dependent on the river water as their source of water for their daily activities.