Detection of Giardia, Cryptosporidium and enteric viruses in surface and tap water samples in Spain

R. De Leon, Charles P Gerba, A. Bosch, F. Torrella, C. P. Gerba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Numerous outbreaks of waterborne gastrointestinal disease have been attributed to Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and rotaviruses. The presence of these organisms in surface water and in treated tap water poses a public health risk. We conducted a pilot survey of surface and tap water in Spain to determine the level of Giardia, Cryptosporidium, enterovirus and rotavirus contamination. Five out of eight surface water samples tested (63%) were positive for Giardia, four out of eight (50%) were positive for Cryptosporidium, and two out of seven (29%) were positive for enteric viruses. Seven out of ten surface waters tested (70%) were positive for an enteric pathogen. Two out of nine (22%), three out of nine (33%) and two out of 11 (18%) tap water samples tested were positive for Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and enteric viruses, respectively. Five out of 13 samples tested (45%) were positive for an enteric pathogen. These results suggest that the extent of source water contamination, the pathogen removal efficiency of drinking water treatment plants, and the associated risks to the population need to be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Health Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993



  • Cryptosporidium
  • Drinking water
  • Enterovirus
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Gene probe
  • Giardia
  • Risk assessment models
  • Rotovirus
  • Sample assay
  • Waterborne disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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