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Health Issues/Feeding Problems Anything related to general or specific health problems. Issues having to do with feeding problems or tips.

"Cryptosporidium cysts" transmission in water supplies.
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Old 04-03-2003, 10:58 AM   #1
"Cryptosporidium cysts" transmission in Water & rodent supplies...

Is water supply a factor in crypto transmission?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Cryptosporidium is currently the leading cause of waterborne illness in the United States.

"Members of the genus Cryptosporidium are parasites of the intestinal tracts of fishes, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
A number of researchers believe that to date 23 species of cryptosporidium have been named based on host occurrence.
(updated after reply below was posted.)

It seems however, that members of this genus do not display a high degree of host specificity, so the number of species in this genus remains a matter of some discussion.
Cryptosporidium isolated from humans is now referred to as C. parvum."

Got "Beaver Fever"?
Giardia and Cryptosporidium are microscopic parasites that can be found in water. Giardia causes an intestinal illness called giardiasis or "beaver fever."
Cryptosporidium is responsible for a similar illness called cryptosporidiosis.

Cattle feces appear to be the primary source of Cryptosporidium, although these parasites have also been found in humans and other animals.
Drinking water sources become contaminated when feces containing the parasites are deposited or flushed into water.
If treatment is inadequate, drinking water may contain sufficient numbers of parasites to cause illness.

(Korich and co-workers, Applied and Environmental Microbiology)
reported that 1 mg/L of ozone for 5 minutes achieved greater than 90 percent inactivation.
These authors concluded that with the possible exception of ozone, the use of disinfectants alone should not be expected to inactivate Cryptosporidium parvum in drinking water.
Filtration of water through a filter with a pore size of one micron or less is required to effectively remove cysts.

It has long been accepted that boiling water for 10 minutes (adding a minute for each 1000 feet above sea level) renders water sterile.

From limited studies it is probable that standard pasteurisation procedures will inactivate these organisms. Heating Cryptosporidium cysts in water to 72.4C within one minute or holding cysts in water at 64.2C (160ish F)
for two minutes rendered cysts non-infective to mice.

Cryptosporidium Oocysts are highly resistant to most disinfectants, unfortunately.

Water can be filtered to remove Cryptosporidium oocysts and the cysts of another protozoan parasite, Giardia lamblia.
Point-of-use filters may be used to treat the water to be used for drinking or preparing foods.
They may be either attached to a faucet or have a pour-through design.

Only filters with an "absolute" (not "nominal") pore size of one micron or smaller will remove all the oocysts (viruses, however, can pass through a one-micron filter). The pore size of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are too small for oocysts to pass through.

NSF International, an independent non-profit testing agency, publishes lists of filters and RO units certified for "cyst reduction".

Grapefruit Seed Extract at the rate of ten drops per gallon will render "safe" of microbiology, most allegedly "clean and safe" water sources.
30 minute Contact time is important to give the G.S.E. time to "do its stuff".

Could Cryptosporidium oocysts be getting to Reptile collections through the water/ rodent supplies?

Could this help explain the "mysterious" occurrence of "crypto" sneaking into some collections even though closed collection techniques are followed.

Is water supply a factor in crypto transmission?
Would it even be identified as the "Culprit" source of initial infestation?..
...Probably not...

Freezing cannot be relied upon to destroy all Cryptosporidium cysts...
a small proportion of oocysts survived 750 hours at -22C after slow freezing.

Frozen, allegedly "parasite free" rodents could also possibly be a unsuspected crypto cysts "cross transmission" vehicle. (to ones self if nothing else).

Standard home freezers don't operate cold enough to be true, "way below zero" type deep freezers.
Another good reason to "clean up" ones mice colonies and not to count on the "miracle" of freezing as a cure all.

Hundreds of small water systems throughout the country (and around the world) do not have adequate purification systems.
And in urban as well as rural areas, streams and watersheds can become contaminated through infected wastes/ sewage.
C. parvum has never been "documented" in reptiles according to the CDC. They mostly get C. serpentis although occasional cases have been found where a reptile gets C. baileyii, a strain normally affecting poultry, especially turkeys. Crypto is notorious for not being species specific.

How common are Cryptosporidium oocyst's in your local munincipal water supply?... Something you may wish to inquire into of your local water company, especially in those areas with huge "super-Animal Farms" (Cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, etc) leaching mucho waste into the ground/ groundwater whenever it rains, it can be a big factor in water quality "these days" in some areas.
Old 04-03-2003, 12:11 PM   #2
Thanks for doing that research Cowboy, I recently had an immune-comprimised friend tell me that her doctor advised her to drink a certain brand of water because of the way it was processed. "Other waters can be processed insufficently and carry a parasite called cryptosporidium". Which, obviously, sparked my interest...but I had not gathered the time to research it yet. Definately some food for thought. Sapposedly there are different strains, and it can't transfer from mammels to reptiles or vise versa, but I don't think I buy that 100%.
Old 04-03-2003, 12:28 PM   #3
Rich Z
Would you mind posting this in my forum on I think this is important info to share.

Hygiene, Sanitation, Pathogens, & Zoonoses Forum

Old 04-04-2003, 07:40 PM   #4
Cryptosporidium oocysts and 1 micron and less filtration

Methods to remove possible Cryptosporidium cysts using 1 micron or less filtration from drinking water.
While were at it, lets sterilize it

A Ultraviolet (UV), Counter Top, Water Purifier...
This unit uses both filtration and purification technology.

The specially-designed 0.5 micron carbon block cartridge is 99.9% effective in removing chlorine, lead, bad tastes, odors,
cryptosporidium and giardia cysts.

The UV lamp, which is enclosed in a quartz sleeve, produces ultraviolet light that destroys waterborne pathogens such as bacteria and viruses by penetrating the cell wall and deactivating the DNA so it is unable to reproduce.
The lamp uses only 10 watts and will last 9,000-10,000 hours (should be replaced annually). The transformer has an indictor light which notifies you if the lamp has burned out.

Ultraviolet water purification lamps produce UV-C or "germicidal UV," radiation of much greater intensity than sunlight. Almost all of the UV lamp's output is concentrated in the 254 nanometers (nm) region in order to take full advantage of the germicidal properties of this wavelength. Most ultraviolet purification systems are combined with various forms of filtration, as UV light is only capable of killing microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, molds, algae, and yeast. It has absolutely no impact on chlorine, VOCs, heavy metals, and other chemical contaminants.
Nevertheless, it is probably the
most cost effective and efficient technology available to homeowners to eliminate a wide range of biological contaminants from their water supply.

Reverse osmosis, also known as hyperfiltration, is the most common treatment technology used by premium bottled water companies.
It is effective in eliminating or substantially reducing a very wide array of contaminants, and of all technologies used to treat drinking water in residential applications, it has the greatest range of contaminant removal.

Reverse osmosis will allow the removal of particles as small as individual ions.
The pores in a reverse osmosis membrane are only approximately 0.0005 micron in size (bacteria are 0.2 to 1 micron & viruses are 0.02 to 0.4 micron).


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