Few prior studies have examined the potential health risks from transmission of enteric parasites via aquifers contaminated by wastewater from onsite systems. A cross-sectional study of 600 residents in households served with either onsite wastewater systems and private wells or city sewer/water systems in three different sites in central New Mexico compared serological responses to Cryptosporidium, a common waterborne infections agent. Study participants completed a short self-administered questionnaire with questions on demographic characteristics, characteristics of the onsite wastewater system and private well, and common risk factors associated with cryptosporidiosis. A sample of household tap water was collected, as well as a blood sample from each study participant to measure IgG responses to antigen groups for Cryptosporidium. Logistic regression analysis showed a significant association between having an onsite wastewater system and private well and the 27-kDa marker for Cryptosporidium in the River Valley site after adjusting for covariates (OR = 1.98; 95% CI = 1.11–3.55). This study, together with one prior study, suggests that the presence of onsite wastewater systems and private wells might be associated with an increased risk of Cryptosporidium infection.
Cryptosporidium infection, onsite wastewater systems and private wells in the arid Southwest
Kristine Tollestrup, Floyd J. Frost, Twila R. Kunde, Marylynn V. Yates, Stephanie Jackson; Cryptosporidium infection, onsite wastewater systems and private wells in the arid Southwest. J Water Health 1 March 2014; 12 (1): 161–172. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wh.2013.049
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