Parasitology Research

, Volume 109, Issue 3, pp 539–544 | Cite as

Occurrence and genetic characterization of Giardia duodenalis from captive nonhuman primates by multi-locus sequence analysis

  • Rafael Alberto Martínez-DíazEmail author
  • José Sansano-Maestre
  • María del Carmen Martínez-Herrero
  • Francisco Ponce-Gordo
  • María Teresa Gómez-Muñoz
Original Paper


Giardia is the most common enteric protozoan that can be pathogenic to both humans and animals. Transmission can be direct through the faecal–oral route, or through ingestion of contaminated water or food. Genetic characterization of Giardia duodenalis isolates has demonstrated the existence of seven groups (assemblages A to G) which differ in their host distribution. Assemblages A and B are present in humans and other primates, dogs, cats, rodents, and other species of wild mammals, but the role of the different host animals in the epidemiology of human infection remains unclear. With this preliminary data, we can infer that nonhuman primates (NHP) might be a potential reservoir for zoonotic transmission. This research paper discusses the presence of Giardia in nonhuman primates housed in two Spanish zoological gardens (located in Valencia and Madrid). Twenty faecal samples obtained from 16 different species of NHP were studied; 70% were positives to Giardia, and genetic analyses were performed by sequencing of four genes (SSrRNA, glutamate dehydrogenase, triose phosphate isomerase, and beta-giardin). The assemblage A was the most frequent (63.4%) in the species studied. A sequence from a red ruffed lemur (corresponding to genotype AI) was obtained, and this is the first reported sequence of a gdh gene obtained from this species. The multi-locus sequence analysis was also performed on the samples positive to nested PCR belonging to assemblage B. After amplification using the GDHeF, GDHiF, and GDHiR gdh primers; AL3543, AL3546, AL3544, and AL3545 tpi primers; G7, G759, GBF, and GBR bg primers, amplicons of 432, 500, and 511 bp respectively were obtained. Amplification products were sequenced and the sequence and phylogenetic analyses showed that genotype IV like was the most frequent in the samples belonging to this assemblage.


Nonhuman Primate Spider Monkey Giardiasis Triose Phosphate Isomerase Hamadryas Baboon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was partially supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. Grants: AGL2007-62435/GAN and CGL2006-04343/BOS. The authors wish to thank veterinarians Eva Martínez from the zoo aquarium of Madrid, Miguel Casares, Cati Gerique, and Loles Carbonell from Bioparc Valencia, for their kindly help in collecting faecal samples from their respective centers. We also thank Dr. Blanca Simmons for language advice.

Supplementary material

436_2011_2281_MOESM1_ESM.doc (44 kb)
Online Resource 1 Intra-subassemblage substitutions for glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) gene from assemblage A. Positions are numbered from the beginning of the reference sequence from GenBank (M84604) (DOC 43 kb)
436_2011_2281_MOESM2_ESM.doc (277 kb)
Online Resource 2 Intra-subassemblage substitutions for glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh), triose phosphate isomerase (tpi), and beta-giardin (bg) genes from assemblage B. Positions are numbered from the beginning of the reference sequences from GenBank (AY178756 for gdh, AY368163 for tpi, and AY072726 for bg) (DOC 277 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael Alberto Martínez-Díaz
    • 1
    Email author
  • José Sansano-Maestre
    • 2
  • María del Carmen Martínez-Herrero
    • 2
  • Francisco Ponce-Gordo
    • 3
  • María Teresa Gómez-Muñoz
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de Medicina Preventiva, Salud Pública y Microbiología, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Producción Animal, Sanidad Animal y Ciencia y Tecnología de los Alimentos, Facultad de VeterinariaUniversidad CEU Cardenal HerreraValenciaSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Parasitología, Facultad de FarmaciaUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain
  4. 4.Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de VeterinariaUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

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