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Cryptosporidium Reference Unit: Water and Environmental Services

Contact Us

Cryptosporidium Reference Unit
Public Health Wales Microbiology 
Singleton Hospital
SA2 8QA    

Public Health Wales Microbiology
DX 6070300
Swansea 90 SA

Tel:  01792 285341 (for results, consultation and advice during office hours)
Tel (out of hours): 01792 205666 (ask for on-call consultant microbiologist)
Laboratory hours: 0845-1700 (Monday to Friday)


  • Consultant Clinical Scientist and Head of Unit, Professor Rachel Chalmers
  • Principal Clinical Scientists, Dr Kristin Elwin and Dr Guy Robinson

Water and Environmental services available:

  • Genotyping of confirmed Cryptosporidium samples to support outbreak/cluster investigations and for risk assessment purposes
  • Evaluation of new laboratory methods for Cryptosporidium
  • Consultation advice on detection and management of Cryptosporidium
  • Advice on the investigation, epidemiology, control and prevention of Cryptosporidium
  • R & D activities in relation to our reference functions

Guide to environmental investigations*:



Samples required

Tests performed

Turnaround time (depending on complexity and current workload)

Genotyping of Cryptosporidium to species level* 

(further characterisation is at the discretion of the Unit Head following consultation)

Cryptosporidium-positive water and testing slides following consultation with Unit Head

 PCR-based tests

Urgent samples 5 working days 

All other samples: test offered monthly**

 * Charges are reviewed annually and can be supplied on request.

 ** This test is offered monthly, at the beginning of each month. Please phone to discuss urgent submissions.

How to obtain services: 

Please telephone in advance of sending samples. It is often helpful to seek advice prior to sampling.

Use the Cryptosporidium Reference Unit forms as appropriate. These can be downloaded from the links below:

Further information is available in genotyping from water testing slides.

Special instructions:

  • Sample Transport: All samples must be packaged in accordance with current UK or international postal regulations and sent either by Royal Mail’s Special Delivery Next Day service, international equivalent, Parcel Force or other courier (specify morning delivery).
  • Request forms: please complete and email the appropriate form to in advance and enclose the original with the samples.

Reporting of results:

Reports will be sent to the body submitting the sample. Copies may also be sent to relevant public health professionals. Results are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Investigation of Cryptosporidium linked to swimming pools


External links