Case-control study of risk factors for sporadic giardiasis and parasite assemblages in North West England

Corrado Minetti, Kenneth Lamden*, Caroline Durband, John Cheesbrough, Katherine Platt, Andre Charlett, Sarah J. O'Brien, Andrew Fox, Jonathan M. Wastling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Giardia duodenalis is a major cause of infectious gastroenteritis worldwide, and it is diversified into eight genetic assemblages (A to H), which are distinguishable only by molecular typing. There is some evidence that the assemblages infecting humans (assemblages A and B) may have different transmission routes, but systematically acquired data, combining epidemiological and molecular findings, are required. We undertook a case-control study with Giardia genotyping in North West England, to determine general and parasite assemblage-specific risk factors. For people without a history of foreign travel, swimming in swimming pools and changing diapers were the most important risk factors for the disease. People infected with assemblage B reported a greater number of symptoms and higher frequencies of vomiting, abdominal pain, swollen stomach, and loss of appetite, compared with people infected with assemblage A. More importantly, keeping a dog was associated only with assemblage A infections, suggesting the presence of a potential zoonotic reservoir for this assemblage. This is the first case-control study to combine epidemiological data with Giardia genotyping, and it shows the importance of integrating these two levels of information for better understanding of the epidemiology of this pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3133-3140
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

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Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


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