Occurrence and molecular characterization of Giardia duodenalis cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in raw water samples from the Rímac River, Peru.Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Apr; 25(12):11454-11467.ES
Giardia and Cryptosporidium are potentially pathogenic protozoa which are ubiquitous in ambient surface water. The present study included 60 samples of surface water from three sampling sites from the Rímac River, Lima and Callao, Peru, to detect the occurrence of Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. and to perform molecular characterization of specimens found. Water samples were concentrated using the membrane filtration technique, and following elution, cysts and oocysts were visualized by direct immunofluorescence assay (IFA). For molecular characterization, tpi and bg gene fragments and 18S rRNA were amplified by nested PCR for Giardia and Cryptosporidium, respectively, followed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. Giardia cysts were found in 93.3% of the analyzed samples, whereas Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in 15%. The positivity of the Giardia cysts was 86.6% (n = 26) in 2014, while Cryptosporidium oocysts were not detected. In 2015, both protozoa were found in raw water samples, with all 30 samples collected positive for Giardia cysts (100.0%) and 9 positive for Cryptosporidium oocysts (30.0%). Oocysts were detected in 20.0% of water samples from sites 1 (mean 5.25 oocysts/L) and 2 (mean 52.3 oocysts/L), while at site 3, oocysts were detected in 50.0% of raw water samples (mean 193.6 oocysts/L). The presence of Giardia duodenalis assemblage A was confirmed in several samples by the phylogenetic positioning of the bg and tpi genes, and the sub-assemblage AII was predominant (8/9). Sequencing for Cryptosporidium resulted in profiles compatible with Cryptosporidium hominis, Cryptosporidium meleagridis, and Cryptosporidium baileyi. This is the first time that the presence of G. duodenalis assemblage A/sub-assemblage AII and Cryptosporidium species has been reported in surface water samples in Peru. These Cryptosporidium species and the Giardia duodenalis assemblage are associated with human disease which highlights the potential risk to public health and the need to increase environmental monitoring measures to protect this water body.