Giardia and Cryptosporidium Testing Services

About Giardia and Cryptosporidium Testing Services

Infectivity and viability testing

Giardia Ad

For several years, the Infectious Diseases laboratory at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in North Grafton, Massachusetts has provided testing service for Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium parvum. G. lamblia cysts are tested for infectivity in gerbils, the accepted animal model for this parasite [1,2]. C. parvum oocysts are tested in mice [3] or cell culture [4]. These tests are used to determine whether cysts and oocysts are infectious, and are potentially capable of causing disease. Click here for an abstract of published results [2].

Typical turn-around times for infectiviy tests are 2-3 weeks. Depending on the design of the test, we can determine whether cysts or oocysts in a sample are infectious or dead (below assay detection limit), or we can give an estimate of the concentration of infectious cysts/oocysts by using a dose-response type experiment [5].

Genotyping for source tracking

The species and source of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts can be determined using molecular fingerprinting techniques [6,7]. This information can assist in tracking the source of oocysts. We provide genotyping service for Cryptosporidium oocysts recovered from various water sources, including finished, reclaimed and surface water.

NEW: age matched Cryptosporidium parvum/Cryptosporidium hominis oocysts from same host species, viable or inactivated. Ideal for comparative experiments.

Pricing and Contact

The cost of infectivity and genotyping depends on the number of samples and the information needed. Please inquire at 508-839-7944,


  1. Faubert, G.M., Belosevic, M., Walker, T.S., MacLean, J.D., and Meerovitch, E. (1983) Comparative studies on the pattern of infection with Giardia spp. in Mongolian gerbils. J. Parasitol., 69, 802.
  2. Garcia, A, Yanko, W, Batzer, G and Widmer G. (2000) Giardia cysts in tertiary-treated wastewater effluents: are they infective? Water Environ. Res. 74, 541.
  3. Korich DG, Marshall MM, Smith HV, O'Grady J, Bukhari Z, Fricker CR, Rosen JP, Clancy JL.J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2000 May-Jun;47(3):294-8. Inter-laboratory comparison of the CD-1 neonatal mouse logistic dose-response model for Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts. J. Eukaryot Microbiol. 47, 294.
  4. Rochelle PA, Marshall MM, Mead JR, Johnson AM, Korich DG, Rosen JS, De Leon R. (2002) Comparison of in vitro cell culture and a mouse assay for measuring infectivity of Cryptosporidium parvum. Appl Environ Microbiol. 68, 3809.
  5. Finch GR, Daniels CW, Black EK, Schaefer FW 3rd, Belosevic M (1993) Dose response of Cryptosporidium parvum in outbred neonatal CD-1 mice. Appl Environ Microbiol. 59, 3661.
  6. Widmer G (1998) Genetic heterogeneity and PCR detection of Cryptosporidium parvum. Adv Parasitol. 40, 223.
  7. Feng X, Rich SM, Akiyoshi D, Tumwine JK, Kekitiinwa A, Nabukeera N, Tzipori S, Widmer G. (2000) Extensive polymorphism in Cryptosporidium parvum identified by multilocus microsatellite analysis. Appl Environ Microbiol. Aug;66(8):3344-9.