Direct counting of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts using fluorescence in situ hybridization on a membrane filter

Tomoyuki Taguchi, Youhei Shinozaki, Haruko Takeyama, Satoshi Haraguchi, Masato Yoshino, Masao Kaneko, Yoshio Ishimori, Tadashi Matsunaga*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This report describes the development of a direct and rapid detection method for the pathogenic protozoan, Cryptosporidium parvum, from environmental water samples using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on a membrane filter. The hydrophilic polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membrane filter with FISH-stained oocysts yielded the highest signal to noise (S/N) ratio of the different membrane filters tested. PTFE membranes retained 98.8 ± 0.4% of the concentrated oocysts after washing, simultaneous permeabilization and fixation with a hot ethanol solution, and hybridization with a fluorescently labeled oligonucleotide probe. This procedure eliminates subsequent time-consuming recovery steps that often result in a loss of the actual oocysts in a given environmental water sample. Furthermore, C. parvum was successfully distinguished from Cryptosporidium muris and other species in environmental water samples with the addition of formamide into the hybridization solution. In tap water samples, the S/N ratio was heightened by washing the membrane filter prior to FISH with a 1 M HCl solution in order to reduce the large amounts of impurities and background fluorescence from the non-specific adsorption of the fluorescently labeled oligonucleotide probe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microbiological Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryptosporidium parvum
  • Direct counting
  • FISH
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization
  • Membrane filter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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