Discharge of sewage into the ocean is still a common method of disposal worldwide. Both treated and untreated sewage may contain significant concentrations of waterborne pathogens, such as Giardia, Cryptosporidium, poliovirus and Salmonella. Limited studies exist on the survival of poliovirus and Salmonella in marine waters; however, almost no information exists on the survival of protozoan parasites in marine waters. This study examined the survival of Giardia muris cysts, Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts, poliovirus-1 and Salmonella typhimurium in marine waters. The survival of the microorganisms varied according to the presence of light, salinity and water quality (as determined by quantity of enterococci). All microorganisms survived longer in the dark than in sunlight, the order of survival in sunlight being: Cryptosporidium > poliovirus > Giardia > Salmonella.

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