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Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. removal efficiency of a combined fixed-film system treating domestic wastewater receiving hospital effluent

Yamashiro, Sandra, Foco, Mário Luiz Rodrigues, Pineda, Carolina Ortiz, José, Juliana, Nour, Edson Aparecido Abdul, Siqueira-Castro, Isabel Cristina Vidal, Franco, Regina Maura Bueno
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.22 pp. 22756-22771
Cryptosporidium, Giardia, biofilters, biomass, diarrhea, effluents, fluorescent antibody technique, hospitals, ingestion, microfiltration, microscopy, oocysts, parasites, polymerase chain reaction, sewage, sludge, wastewater treatment, water pollution, Brazil
Giardia and Cryptosporidium have caused numerous outbreaks of diarrhea as a result of the ingestion of water contaminated with sewage. In Brazil, the efficiency of Giardia and Cryptosporidium removal by combined fixed-film systems has rarely been studied. The aims of the present study were therefore to verify the removal efficiency of Giardia and Cryptosporidium by a combined system (anaerobic/anoxic filter and aerated submerged biofilter) and to perform the genetic characterization of these parasites. The (oo)cysts were detected by centrifuge concentration and membrane filtration from raw sewage, effluents, adhered biomass, and sludge samples. Immunofluorescence assay and differential interference contrast microscopy were used for the visualization of the (oo)cysts. Nested PCR was applied to confirm Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Giardia and Cryptosporidium were detected in 27% and 5.5% of the 144 analyzed samples of raw sewage and effluents, respectively. A total of 33,000 cysts/L were recovered in the adhered biomass samples (n = 25) from different points of the aerated submerged biofilter, while 6000 oocysts/L were registered in a single point. An average of 11,800 cysts/L were found in the sludge samples (n = 5). The combined system exhibited a removal efficiency of Giardia cysts of 1.8 ± 1.0 log removal. The C and BIV assemblages of Giardia were identified in the raw sewage while AII was found in the treated effluent sample. It was not possible to calculate the removal efficiency of Cryptosporidium oocysts by the combined system. The combined system exhibited some potential as a suitable treatment for the removal of parasites from sewage.