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Risk of Giardia infection for drinking water and bathing in a peri-urban area in São Paulo, Brazil

Abstract

A high incidence of waterborne diseases is observed worldwide and in order to address contamination problems prior to an outbreak, quantitative microbial risk assessment is a useful tool for estimating the risk of infection. The objective of this paper was to assess the probability of Giardia infection from consuming water from shallow wells in a peri-urban area. Giardia has been described as an important waterborne pathogen and reported in several water sources, including ground waters. Sixteen water samples were collected and examined according to the US EPA (1623, 2005). A Monte Carlo method was used to address the potential risk as described by the exponential dose response model. Giardia cysts occurred in 62.5% of the samples (<0.1–36.1 cysts/l). A median risk of 10−1 for the population was estimated and the adult ingestion was the highest risk driver. This study illustrates the vulnerability of shallow well water supply systems in peri-urban areas.

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