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Cryptosporidium is a genus of protozoan parasites, ubiquitous in the environment, comprising >60 known species and genotypes, a few of which are pathogenic to humans, causing a severe diarrhoeal disease, which is usually self‐limiting but can be fatal in the immuno‐compromised. The vehicle of infection is a persistent, tough walled oocyst, which is spread through the faecal‐oral route. The infective dose is low and the oocysts are resistant to chlorine disinfection, which makes this an organism of significant concern throughout the water industry, particularly in Scotland where both wild and domestic carriers are numerous and there are many small unmanned water treatment works supplying rural communities.

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