Cryptosporidium and Giardia are enteric dwelling parasites that cause diarrheal illness. These parasites are present in numerous animal species and the potential zoonotic transmission to man via water is of increasing concern. Water samples collected from recreational sites throughout the State of Arizona were assayed for the presence of Giardia cysts and Crypto-sporidium oocysts using a qualitative presence/absence immunofluorescent assay with cell wall specific monoclonal antibodies developed in our laboratory. Seven percent of the water samples were positive for Giardia cysts while 30% were positive for Crvptosporidium oocysts. In addition, a quantitative assay was performed on each water sample for Cryptosporidium oocysts. The presence/absence qualitative immunofluorescent assay method proved to be a more efficient, sensitive and reliable means to detect these parasites in surface waters.

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