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Release: Nov. 1, 2000

EPA official to lecture at UI Nov. 3

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Rebecca Calderon, Ph.D., chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Epidemiology and Biomarkers Branch, Human Studies Division, will present findings from a study conducted in Iowa on Cryptosporidium in drinking water.

The presentation will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3 in the Gold Room at Oakdale Hall on the University of Iowa Oakdale Research Campus. The event is hosted by the UI Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination.

The EPA study was conducted to determine the immune response in people potentially exposed to Cryptosporidium in drinking water from surface water and groundwater sources. Researchers conducted a serological study of blood donors from two Iowa cities with different sources of drinking water -- filtered and chlorinated river water receiving agricultural and domestic sewage upstream, and chlorinated water from an underground aquifer. The investigators then compared the serological responses of donors from the two groups who had Cryptosporidium antigens in their blood.

The research findings, similar to two other paired city studies involving communities in the Midwest and Southwest, suggest that endemic Cryptosporidium infections may occur more commonly in certain cities using surface drinking water sources. Other risk factors evaluated included travel (domestic and international), contact with children, contact with animals, food practices and bottle water use.

None of the infected participants had been diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis and few reported symptoms of prolonged enteric (related to or affecting the intestine) illness.

For more information on the event, contact David Riley at (319) 335-4016.

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