Susceptibility of Chesapeake Bay to environmental contamination with Cryptosporidium parvum: Recovery of the pathogen by eastern oysters

Principal Investigator:

Thaddeus K. Graczyk

Start/End Year:

1998 - 2001


Johns Hopkins University



Optimize and standardize the most efficient techniques for screening Chesapeake Bay oysters for Cryptosporidium parvam contamination: a) improve the quality of the harvested shellfish, b) quickly, accurately, and economically identify contaminated oyster bars for controlled harvesting, c) determine infectivity to humans of C. parvam oocysts recovered from oyster tissue, d) determine whether oysters can be used as bioindicators of water contamination by C. parvam e) protect human health by prevention of foodborne cryptosporidiosis. To assess the role of environmental components, i.e., wastewater discharges, waterfowl presence, and cattle farm run-offs in contamination of the Chesapeake Bay with C. parvam and to determine epizootiological and epidemiological interplay among these components in order to: a) determine the impact of water contamination on the contamination on natural oyster populations, b) determine the infectivity of the C. parvam oocysts recovered from water samples, c) protect oyster bars from exclusion from economical use, d) provide guidelines for controlling, reducing, or preventing contamination of the Chesapeake Bay with C. parvam.

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