Cryptosporidium is a waterborne parasite that causes the disease Cryptosporidiosis. Infections are caused by the ingestion of water from a contaminated source, the most common source being recreational waters such as swimming pools and spa pools.* The disease manifests as severe diarrhoea, debilitating abdominal cramping and fever. It is highly contagious and occurs most frequently in children and their caregivers. Cryptosporidiosis can be a serious illness in people who have immune systems that are compromised and can lead to long term hospitalisation and fatality.
What are the risks of Cryptosporidium?
- Cryptosporidium is highly resistant to chlorination taking around 11 days to be eliminated
|Pathogen||Time taken to eliminate at standard pool chlorination levels|
|Escherichia coli||<1 min|
Table 1: Effectiveness of chlorination in swimming pools/spa pools
- It spreads through the ingestion of Oocyst spores which may contain up to 4 juvenile parasites
- It can require as little as 10 Oocysts to cause disease
- The incubation period is typically 5-10 days but can take up to 28 days to show symptoms
- There were on average 114 cases reported per week in 2016** alone, making Cryptosporidium a major issue for public health
Why test for Cryptosporidium?
- Cryptosporidiosis is a disruptive illness and regular testing can help identify possible outbreaks early
- Cryptosporidium is a reportable pathogen and must be reported to Public Health England (PHE) who may take enforcement action against the operator
What does Eurofins offer?
- Analysis accredited to ISO17025 by UKAS for tap, swimming and spa pool water samples
- 5 day turnaround time for analysis results
- Collection points across the UK allowing quick and convenient sample submission
- Expert scientists extensively trained in Cryptosporidium analysis
- Active participation in the CRYPTS EQA proficiency scheme run by LGC
*Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group, Technical Notes 30 Cryptosporidium – What pool operators need to know
**Cryptosporidium spp data 2007 to 2016, Public Health England, May 2018