Cryptosporidium parvum has become the focus of numerous studies on waterborne disease and transmission in response to outbreaks endangering populations worldwide. The Foci Detection Method–Most Probable Number Assay (FDM– MPN) is an in vitro cell culture method that has been developed and used to determine the quantity of infectious C. parvum oocysts. This research evaluated 2 vendor's producing oocysts, Sterling Parasitology Laboratory (SPL) and Pleasant Hill Farms (PHF) (now known as Bunch Grass Farms as of 12/03), classified as young (<30 days) and aged (>165 days), for comparison of treatments (bleach, antibiotic, no treatment) before cell culture, as well as an age study, to determine any lot-to-lot differences and vendor differences regarding the rate of decline in infectivity. Bleach treatment (0.525%) appeared to be the optimum method for the FDM–MPN with regards to maximum infectivity, efficient disinfection, with no visible antagonistic affects on the C. parvum oocysts. The age study revealed that lot-to-lot variability within each vendor stayed within 1 log10 difference, while the rates of decline in infectivity measured until 107 and 120 days of age when stored at 4 C for SPL and PHF were −0.016 and −0.014 log10 infectious oocysts/day, respectively. These results provide insight regarding C. parvum oocyst viability in a fecal population, as well as useful knowledge for further methods development.

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