Parasitology Research

, Volume 115, Issue 8, pp 3197–3202 | Cite as

The zoonotic potential of Giardia intestinalis assemblage E in rural settings

Original Paper


Giardiasis is a globally re-emerging protozoan disease with veterinary and public health implications. The current study was carried out to investigate the zoonotic potential of livestock-specific assemblage E in rural settings. For this purpose, a total of 40 microscopically positive Giardia stool samples from children with gastrointestinal complaints with or without diarrhea were enrolled in the study as well as fecal samples from 46 diarrheic cattle (18 dairy cows and 28 calves). Animal samples were examined by sedimentation method to identify Giardia spp., and then, all Giardia positive samples from human and animals were processed for molecular detection of livestock-specific assemblage E through amplification of assemblage-specific triosephosphate isomerase (tpi) gene using nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The results of the study revealed high unexpected occurrence of assemblage E among human samples (62.5 %), whereas the distribution among patients with diarrhea and those without was 42.1 and 81 %, respectively. On the other hand, the prevalence of Giardia spp. among diarrheic dairy cattle was (8.7 %), while only calves yielded positive results (14.3 %) and all bovine Giardia spp. were genetically classified as Giardia intestinalis assemblage E. Moreover, DNA sequencing of randomly selected one positive human sample and another bovine one revealed 100 and 99 % identity with assemblage E tpi gene sequences available at GenBank after BLAST analysis. In conclusion, the current study highlights the wide dissemination of livestock-specific assemblage E among humans in rural areas, and thus, zoonotic transmission cycle should not be discounted during the control of giardiasis in such settings.


Giardia intestinalis assemblage E Rural settings Zoonosis 


  1. Abeywardena H, Jex AR, Koehler AV, Rajapakse RP, Udayawarna K, Haydon SR, Stevens MA, Gasser RB (2014) First molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium and Giardia from bovines (Bos taurus and Bubalus bubalis) in Sri Lanka: unexpected absence of C. parvum from pre-weaned calves. Parasitol Vectors 21:75. doi:10.1186/1756-3305-7-75 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adam RD (2001) Biology of Giardia lamblia. Clin Microbiol Rev 14:447–475CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Amer SE (2013) Genotypic and phylogenetic characterization of Giardia intestinalis from human and dairy cattle in Kafr El Sheikh Governorate, Egypt. J Egypt Soc Parasitol 43:133–146CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Caccio SM, Ryan U (2008) Molecular epidemiology of giardiasis. Mol Biochem Parasitol 160:75–80CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Dixon B, Parrington L, Cook A, Pintar K, Pollari F, Kelton D, Farber J (2011) The potential for zoonotic transmission of Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. from beef and dairy cattle in Ontario, Canada. Vet Parasitol 175:20–26CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Du SZ, Zhao GH, Shao JF, Fang YQ, Tian GR, Zhang LX, Wang RJ, Wang HY, Qi M, Yu SK (2015) Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia intestinalis, and Enterocytozoon bieneusi in captive non-human primates in Qinling mountains. Korean J Parasitol 53(4):395–402CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Durigan M, Abreu AG, Zucchi MI, Franco RMB, de Souza AP (2014) Genetic diversity of Giardia duodenalis: multilocus genotyping reveals zoonotic potential between clinical and environmental sources in a metropolitan region of Brazil. PLoS ONE 9(12), e115489. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115489 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Ehsan AM, Geurden T, Casaert S, Parvin SM, Islam TM, Ahmed UM, Levecke B, Vercruysse J, Claerebout E (2015) Assessment of zoonotic transmission of Giardia and Cryptosporidium between cattle and humans in rural villages in Bangladesh. PLoS One 10(2), e0118239. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0118239 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  9. Fahmy HM, El-Serougi AO, El Deeb HK, Hussein HM, Abou-Seri HM, Klotz C, Aebischer T, El Sayed Khalifa Mohamed K (2015) Giardia duodenalis assemblages in Egyptian children with diarrhea. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 34:1573–1581CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Fava N, Soares RM, Scalia L, Kalapothakis E, Pena I, Vieira C, Faria E, Cunha M, Couto T, Cury M (2013) Performance of glutamate dehydrogenase and triose phosphate isomerase genes in the analysis of genotypic variability of isolates of Giardia duodenalis from Livestocks. Bio Med Research International 2013: 875048. doi: 10.1155/2013/875048
  11. Feng Y, Xiao L (2011) Zoonotic potential and molecular epidemiology of Giardia species and giardiasis. Clin Microbiol Rev 24:110–140CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Foronda P, Bargues MD, Abreu-Acosta N, Periago MV, Valero MA, Valladares B, Mas-Coma S (2008) Identification of genotypes of Giardia intestinalis of human isolates in Egypt. Parasitol Res 103:1177–1181CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Gelanew T, Lalle M, Hailu A, Pozio E, Caccio SM (2007) Molecular characterization of human isolates of Giardia duodenalis from Ethiopia. Acta Trop 102:92–99CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Geurden T, Geldhof P, Levecke B, Martens C, Berkvens D, Casaert S, Vercruysse J, Claerebout E (2008) Mixed Giardia duodenalis assemblage A and E infections in calves. Int J Parasitol 38:259–264CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Ghoneim NH, Abdel-Moein KA, Saeed H (2012) Fish as a possible reservoir for zoonotic Giardia duodenalis assemblages. Parasitol Res 110:2193–2196CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Helmy Y, Klotz C, Wilking H, Krücken J, Nöckler K, Samson-Himmelstjerna G, Zessin K, Aebischer T (2014) Epidemiology of Giardia duodenalis infection in ruminant livestock and children in the Ismailia province of Egypt: insights by genetic characterization. Parasitol Vectors 7:321
  17. Huang J, Yue D, Qi M, Wang R, Zhao J, Li J, Shi K, Wang M Zhang L (2014) Prevalence and molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia duodenalis in dairy cattle in Ningxia, northwestern China. BMC Vet Res 10:292
  18. Hunter PR, Thompson RCA (2005) The zoonotic transmission of Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Int J Parasitol 35:1181–1190CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Johnston AR, Gillespie TR, Rwego IB, McLachlan TL, Kent AD, Goldberg TL (2010) Molecular epidemiology of cross-species Giardia duodenalis transmission in Western Uganda. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 4(5), e683. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000683 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Júlio C, Vilares A, Oleastro M, Ferreira I, Gomes S, Monteiro L, Nunes B, Tenreiro R, Angelo H (2012) Prevalence and risk factors for Giardia duodenalis infection among children: a case study in Portugal. Parasitol Vectors 5:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Karanis P, Ey PL (1998) Characterization of axenic isolates of Giardia intestinalis established from humans and animals in Germany. Parasitol Res 84:442–449CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Lasek-Nesselquist E, Welch DM, Sogin ML (2010) The identification of a new Giardia duodenalis assemblage in marine vertebrates and a preliminary analysis of G. duodenalis population biology in marine systems. Int J Parasitol 40:1063–1074CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. Lebbad M, Mattsson JG, Christensson B, Ljungström B, Backhans A, Andersson JO, Svärd SG (2010) From mouse to moose: multilocus genotyping of Giardia isolates from various animal species. Vet Parasitol 168(3–4):231–239CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Liu H, Shen YJ, Yin JH, Yuan ZY, Jiang YY, Xu YZ, Pan W, Hu Y, Cao JP (2014) Prevalence and genetic characterization of Cryptosporidium, Enterocytozoon, Giardia and Cyclospora in diarrheal outpatients in china. BMC Infect Dis 14:25. doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-25 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Liu G, Su Y, Zhou M, Zhao J, Zhang T, Ahmad W, Lu H, Jiang N, Chen Q, Xiang M, Yin J (2015) Prevalence and molecular characterization of Giardia duodenalis isolates from dairy cattle in northeast China. Exp Parasitol 154:20–24CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Lujan HD, Svard S (2011) Giardia a model organism. SpringerWienNewYork, printing by Holzhausen Druck GmbH, 1140 Wien, AustriaGoogle Scholar
  27. O’Handley RM, Olson ME (2006) Giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis in ruminants. Vet Clin N Am Food Anim Pract 22:623–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. O’Handley RM, Cockwill C, McAllister TA, Jelinski M, Morck DW, Olson ME (1999) Duration of naturally acquired giardiasis and cryptosporidiosis in dairy calves and their association with diarrhea. J Am Vet Med Assoc 214:391–396PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Plutzer J, Ongerth J, Karanis P (2010) Giardia taxonomy, phylogeny and epidemiology: facts and open questions. Int J Hyg Environ Health 213:321–333CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Rendtorff RC (1954) The experimental transmission of human intestinal protozoan parasites. II. Giardia lamblia cysts given in capsules. Am J Hyg 59:209–220PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Ryan U, Caccio SM (2013) Zoonotic potential of Giardia. Int J Parasitol 43:943–956CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Štrkolcová G, Mad’ar M, Hinney B, Goldová M, Mojžišová J, Halánová M (2015) Dog’s genotype of Giardia duodenalis in human: first evidence in Europe. Acta Parasitol 60:796–799PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Sulaiman IM, Fayer R, Bern C, Gilman RH, Trout JM, Schantz PM, Das P, Lal AA, Xiao L (2003) Triosephosphate isomerase gene characterization and potential zoonotic transmission of Giardia duodenalis. Emerg Infect Dis 9:1444–1452CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  34. Thompson RCA, Smith A (2011) Zoonotic enteric protozoa. Vet Parasitol 182:70–78CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. van der Giessen JW, de Vries A, Roos M, Wielinga P, Kortbeek LM, Mank TG (2006) Genotyping of Giardia in Dutch patients and animals: a phylogenetic analysis of human and animal isolates. Int J Parasitol 36:849–858CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Wegayehu T, Adamu H, Petros B (2013) Prevalence of Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium species infections among children and cattle in North Shewa Zone, Ethiopia. BMC Infect Dis 13:419. doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-419 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  37. Yang R, Reid A, Lymbery A, Ryan U (2010) Identification of zoonotic Giardia genotypes in fish. Int J Parasitol 40:779–785CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoonoses, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineCairo UniversityCairoEgypt

Personalised recommendations