Epidemiology of Cryptosporidium Sp Upstream the Water Treatment Plants in Kpong and Weija, Ghana

  • G. T. Mensah CSIR - Water Research Institute, P. O. Box AH 38 Achimota
  • K. M. Bosompem Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana
  • P. F. Ayeh-Kumi Department of Microbiology, University of Ghana Medical and Dental School, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana
  • J. Oppong Department of Animal Biology and Conservation Science, University of Ghana, Legon
  • S. Niampoma CSIR - Water Research Institute, P. O. Box AH 38 Achimota


Cryptosporidium sp was first reported in 1907 in a wide range of domestic animals. It was later found to be zoonotic. These parasites of the Apicomplexa family are found in association with diarrhoea in calves and are water-borne. The organism is second to rotavirus as a causative agent of diarrhoea in new-born calves and infants. In order to estimate the human health risk in cattle rearing areas around water treatment plants, we measured the prevalence of Cryptosporidium oocysts in the faecal matter from four cattle kraals upstream in Joma near the Densu Dam at Weija in the Ga South Municipality and Kpong in the Lower Manya District of Southern Ghana. The Modified Ziehl-Neelsen (MZN) staining technique for Cryptosporidium oocysts was used. Of the 320 faecal samples for each species screened, 63 (19.7%) were positive for Cryptosporidium. Prevalence was higher in calves younger than three months of age, as compared to weaned calves and adults. Oocysts were detected in both diarrhoea and non-diarrhoea samples, with a significantly higher prevalence (p < 0.05) of oocysts shedding in diarrhoeic samples.


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eISSN: 0855-1448