Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Giardia--Romania--Transylvania; Cryptosporidium--Romania--Transylvania; Water quality--Romania--Transylvania; Diarrhea--Environmental aspects--Romania--Transylvania; Cryptosporidium; Giardia; Water quality; Romania--Transylvania;


The purpose of this study was to analyze the drinking water of 69 individuals living in the Transylvania region of Romania for the presence of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts. The ultimate objective was to determine if a correlation exists between the presence and concentrations of these two protozoa and the reported frequency and average severity of diarrheal disease in the study group members.

To accomplish this goal, a collection, emulsion, concentration, labeling, and identification method had to be developed that could operate effectively in an international field setting. The protocol selected included the collection of samples using a compressed foam filter cartridge, emulsion and concentration using a commercially supplied wash station, labeling of cysts and oocysts utilizing an indirect immunofluorescence assay, and inspection using an epifluorescent microscope. A questionnaire was administered to determine the frequency and severity of diarrheal disease in study group members.

Of those water sources tested, 27 (39%) were found to be positive for Cryptosporidium oocysts, and 30 (43%) positive for Giardia cysts, with seventeen wells (25%) testing positive for both. Statistical analysis indicates a correlation between the presence of Cryptosporidium oocysts and the frequency of diarrheal disease (Likelihood Ratio, ChiSquare = 14.301, p = 0.0064), and the presence of Giardia cysts and the severity of diarrheal disease (Likelihood Ratio, ChiSquare = 12.157, p = 0.0327). ANOVA analysis of the relationship between Cryptosporidium oocyst and Giardia cyst concentrations and the reported frequency of diarrheal disease indicates a significant correlation between the frequency of diarrheal disease and the concentration of Cryptosporidium oocysts (ANOVA, f-ratio = 4.3277, p = 0.0037) and Giardia cysts (ANOVA, f-ratio = 5.9876, p = 0.0004). A correlation between Cryptosporidium oocyst and Giardia cyst concentrations and average severity of diarrheal disease was also detected, Giardia cyst concentrations (ANOVA, f-ratio = 13.4211, p = 0.0005) and Cryptosporidium oocyst concentrations (ANOVA, f-ratio = 5.3926, p = 0.0233).

The prevalence of Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts in the wells sampled in this study represents a potential health risk for the very young and immunosuppressed individuals living in the rural areas and small villages of the Transylvania region of Romania.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Catherine Zeman


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Date Original


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