UV disinfection of Giardia lamblia cysts in water.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA.
Environmental Science and Technology (Impact Factor: 5.48). 06/2002; 36(11):2519-22. DOI: 10.1021/es0113403
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The human and animal pathogen Giardia lamblia is a waterborne risk to public health because the cysts are ubiquitous and persistent in water and wastewater, not completely removed by physical-chemical treatment processes, and relatively resistant to chemical disinfection. Given the recently recognized efficacy of UV irradiation against Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts, the inactivation of G. lamblia cysts in buffered saline water at pH 7.3 and room temperature by near monochromatic (254 nm) UV irradiation from low-pressure mercury vapor lamps was determined using a "collimated beam" exposure system. Reduction of G. lamblia infectivity for gerbils was very rapid and extensive, reaching a detection limit of >4 log within a dose of 10 JM-2. The ability of UV-irradiated G. lamblia cysts to repair UV-induced damage following typical drinking water and wastewater doses of 160 and 400 JM(-2) was also investigated using experimental protocols typical for bacterial and eucaryotic DNA repair under both light and dark conditions. The infectivity reduction of G. lamblia cysts at these UV doses remained unchanged after exposure to repair conditions. Therefore, no phenotypic evidence of either light or dark repair of DNA damage caused by LP UV irradiation of cysts was observed at the UV doses tested. We conclude that UV disinfection at practical doses achieves appreciable (much greater than 4 log) inactivation of G. lamblia cysts in water with no evidence of DNA repair leading to infectivity reactivation.

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