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1 April 2005 A fast method for detecting Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in real world samples
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Contamination of drinking water with pathogenic microorganisms such as Cryptosporidium has become an increasing concern in recent years. Cryptosporidium oocysts are particularly problematic, as infections caused by this organism can be life threatening in immunocompromised patients. Current methods for monitoring and analyzing water are often laborious and require experts to conduct. In addition, many of the techniques require very specific reagents to be employed. These factors add considerable cost and time to the analytical process. Raman spectroscopy provides specific molecular information on samples, and offers advantages of speed, sensitivity and low cost over current methods of water monitoring. Raman spectroscopy is an optical method that has demonstrated the capability to identify and differentiate microorganisms at the species and strain levels. In addition, this technique has exhibited sensitivities down to the single organism detection limit. We have employed Raman spectroscopy and Raman Chemical Imaging, in conjunction with chemometric techniques, to detect small numbers of oocysts in the presence of interferents derived from real-world water samples. Our investigations have also indicated that Raman Chemical Imaging may provide chemical and physiological information about an oocyst sample which complements information provided by the traditional methods. This work provides evidence that Raman imaging is a useful technique for consideration in the water quality industry.
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Shona Stewart, Lindy McClelland, and John Maier M.D. "A fast method for detecting Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in real world samples", Proc. SPIE 5692, Advanced Biomedical and Clinical Diagnostic Systems III, (1 April 2005);

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