Ecology of Zoonotic Cryptosporidiosis in Watersheds Containing Cattle Farming Operations

T. K. Graczyk, C. J. Shiff, E. Nizeyimana, B. Evans, J. A. Patz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter is designed to study the ecology of zoonotic cryptosporidiosis in watersheds containing cattle farming operations. Cryptosporidium parvum is an intestinal protozoan parasite which largely infects cattle but produces a chronic life-threatening diarrheal disease in immunocompromised people. The pathogen is frequently transmitted via drinking water as a result of contamination of surface waters by agricultural runoff. Many pollutants, such as C. parvum, are difficult, expensive, or infeasible to be monitored continuously in water sources. This chapter presents a study that used digital maps of 100-year flood plain boundaries, land use and cover, and livestock operations in well-defined watersheds of the Susquehanna River Basin, the USA, to characterize privately owned beef and dairy cattle farms. This cross-sectional study revealed that 64% of the 50 farms in the study area yielded at least one sample positive for C. parvum, and 44% of the farms had the pathogen present in multiple manure samples. The results have implications for drinking water safety as climatic data for the US mid-Atlantic region reveal changes in the pattern of precipitation and disproportional increase in heavy precipitation events as well as flooding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCryptosporidium
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Molecules to Disease
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9780080530109
ISBN (Print)9780444513519
StatePublished - Dec 17 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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