MSci Veterinary Bioscience (University of Glasgow)
Start Date: 1st October 2016
4B141 Cottrell Building
Biological & Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Natural Sciences
University of Stirling
Stirling, Scotland, FK9 4LA
A catchment-based approach to determine environmental controls of Cryptosporidium transfer from land to water
Agricultural operations manipulate the interface between humans and livestock and their environment, which can in turn cause changes in environmental reservoirs of diseases such as Cryptosporidium. Understanding the response of environmental pathogen reservoirs to such change is vital in order to inform reliable quantitative microbial risk assessment and evaluate future risks to biosecurity, the water industry and human health.
Cryptosporidium spp. are environmentally ubiquitous protozoan parasites, some species of which are zoonotic and can cause gastro-intestinal disease in neonatal livestock and susceptible humans. Livestock, particularly neonatal calves, are currently considered to be the main reservoirs of Cryptosporidium oocysts; however, wildlife have also been reported to contribute to oocyst loading in surface waters. Water is considered an important facilitator in the transmission of Cryptosporidium to humans, and legislation demands that the water industry carries out risk assessments for Cryptosporidium contamination for every public water supply. To strengthen the accuracy of these risk assessments, the water industry is interested in the development of transferable risk-based frameworks but they currently lack information in terms of Cryptosporidium transfer from land to water.
This project is jointly funded by the University of Stirling (host institution) and SRUC, with contributions from Scottish Water and the Moredun Research Institute.