Cryptosporidium causes outbreaks of diarrhoeal disease and can be transmitted in drinking water. Not all species of Cryptosporidium infect people; by “genotyping”, we can identify which species are present. We have developed and validated a Polymerase Chain Reaction-based assay to characterise Cryptosporidium oocysts present, even in very low numbers (< 5), on microscope slides from water testing laboratories.
Improved typeability has been achieved for very low numbers of oocysts that will inform operational management activities (catchment characterisation) and investigations where water quality may be at risk.
We have produced written guidance for water testing laboratories, which includes improved communication, managing expectations, a new submission form and clarification of responsibilities of both the service users and the Cryptosporidium Reference Unit
The main benefit of this work will be improved industry response to Cryptosporidium detections and the management of events.