Many modern filtration technologies are incapable of the complete removal of Cryptosporidium oocysts from drinking-water. Consequently, Cryptosporidium-contaminated drinking-water supplies can severely implicate both water utilities and consumers. Existing methods for the detection of Cryptosporidium in drinking-water do not discern between non-pathogenic and pathogenic species, nor between viable and non-viable oocysts. Using FluidFM, a novel force spectroscopy method employing microchannelled cantilevers for single-cell level manipulation, we assessed the size and deformability properties of two species of Cryptosporidium that pose varying levels of risk to human health. A comparison of such characteristics demonstrated the ability of FluidFM to discern between Cryptosporidium muris and Cryptosporidium parvum with 86% efficiency, whilst using a measurement throughput which exceeded 50 discrete oocysts per hour. In addition, we measured the deformability properties for untreated and temperature-inactivated oocysts of the highly infective, human pathogenic C. parvum to assess whether deformability may be a marker of viability. Our results indicate that untreated and temperature-inactivated C. parvum oocysts had overlapping but significantly different deformability distributions.
- CRYPTOSPORIDIUM-PARVUM OOCYSTS
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- School of Engineering & Physical Sciences - Associate Professor
- School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering - Associate Professor
Person: Academic (Research & Teaching)