DESTRUCTION OF CRYPTOSPORIDIUM SP OOCYSTS IN WATER TREATED WITH ELECTRO-GENERATED SWEEPING SOUND WAVES

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Stratton, Helen
Phillips, Lyn
Mordocco, Angela
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2001
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Perth

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The transmission of Cryptosporidiosis through water used for recreational such as swimming pools or spas and drinking purposes has gained much attention over the past decade. Concerns of Water and Health authorities has resulted in a number of investigations into, either existing or novel, treatment technologies for reducing the risk of viable and infective Cryptosporidium oocysts being transmitted by water. A technology that emits an electromagnetic field that produces Sweeping Sound Frequencies (low frequency sound waves) through an activator was investigated as a possible method of enhancing existing treatment methods for killing Cryptosporidium parvum. Oocysts were treated in reverse osmosis water, filtered tap water, unfiltered tap water and in pool make-up water with 0, 0.5mg/L, 1mg/L or 3mg/L free chlorine. Upto 75% of oocysts in tap water ruptured, with no further treatment after exposure to the sweeping sound system. It was noted that the appearance of the ruptured oocysts was similar to those that would excyst during the in vitro excystation assay (ie. the suture line was opened rather than the wall being destroyed). This may suggest that a physiological trigger was responsible for the oocysts rupturing, rather than physical forces. No obvious effect was noted for oocysts exposed to the sweeping sounds in pool make-up water containing 0, 0.5 or 1 mg/L of free chlorine. Sixty five percent of oocysts in pool make-up water containing 3 mg/L free chlorine and exposed to the sweeping sound system were rendered non-viable according to the vital dye and in vitro excystation assays. Thus, the use of this sweeping sound technology as a possible destruction technology for potentially viable oocysts and for enhancing the efficacy of water treatment systems contaminated with Cryptosporidium, has potential. The work is continuing to validate the results described here and to understand the mechanisms that might be involved.

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Australian Society for Microbiology

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