Occurrence and removal of Giardia spp. cysts and Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts from a municipal wastewater treatment plant in Brazil.Environ Technol. 2017 May; 38(10):1245-1254.ET
Sewage and sewage sludge have been recognized as potential sources of two important waterborne pathogenic protozoa: Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. Due to the lack of studies about the occurrence of these pathogens in sewage and sludge in Brazil, an investigation was conducted at various stages of a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) aiming to assess the occurrence of Giardia spp. cysts and Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts, their removal by the treatment processes, which are upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor and dissolved air flotation process, and also the correlations between protozoa and indicator microorganisms. Significant quantities of cysts were detected in 100% of the analyzed wastewater samples, while oocysts were detected only in 39.0% of all wastewater samples. The overall removal of Giardia spp. cysts from the WWTP was on average 2.03 log, and the UASB reactor was more efficient than flotation. The sludge samples presented high quantities of (oo)cysts, implying the risks of contamination in the case of sludge reuse or inadequate disposal. Giardiasis prevalence was estimated between 2.21% and 6.7% for the population served by the WWTP, while cryptosporidiosis prevalence was much lower. Significant positive correlation was obtained only between cysts and Clostridium spores in anaerobic effluent.