In this study we report on the development and application of a novel method for efficiently extracting and detecting single Cryptosporidium oocysts from archived glass slides. Laser capture microscopy was used to extract low numbers of oocysts from archived glass slides. Highly sensitive real-time PCR methods were then developed to enable the rapid detection and identification of Cryptosporidium oocysts from these samples. The method was applied to fecal smears stained with a variety of standard oocyst stains and water samples. This application, with samples derived from both public health and water service laboratories, highlighted the strong potential of this method to be used as a rapid high-throughput screening tool for the routine monitoring of Cryptosporidium and other medically important pathogens from clinical, veterinary, and environmental water samples. Importantly, the application of our protocol could be used to type Cryptosporidium and other pathogens from stored archived glass slides in public health and water service laboratories, providing vital epidemiological updates and helping to identify and trace pathogens and their routes of infection and ultimately improve their control.