Molecular genotyping of Giardia duodenalis in children from Behbahan, southwestern Iran
Giardia duodenalis is an intestinal flagellated protozoan that infects humans and several animal species. Giardiasis causing more than 200 million symptomatic infections globally is one of the most common causes of diarrhea in developing countries. Based on molecular studies mainly targeting the small-subunit (SSU) rRNA gene locus of the parasite, eight assemblages (A to H) have been identified in humans and other animal species. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the frequency and molecular diversity of G. duodenalis in children from rural and urban day care centers from Behbahan, southwestern Iran. This cross-sectional study was based on a concentration method for the microscopic detection of G. duodenalis in stool samples of 450 children, aged 1–7 years, in Behbahan, southwestern Iran. The survey was conducted from December 2015 to May 2016. PCR methods targeting the SSU rRNA and triose phosphate isomerase (TPI) genes of G. duodenalis were used for the identification and genotyping of the parasite isolates. Based on sucrose flotation and microscopy techniques, 2.7% (12/450) of children were infected with G. duodenalis, of which six (50.0%) were males and the other six (50.0%) were females. Overall, 91.7% (11/12) of the infections were detected in children from rural areas. The SSU rRNA and TPI genes were amplified successfully in nine and eight, respectively, of the Giardia-positive samples at microscopy. Among the eight TPI sequences, assemblage A, sub-assemblage AII, was identified in five of the isolates. The sequences of the three remaining samples were untypable. Although no significantly statistical difference between genotype and clinical symptoms was found, five out of the eight isolates identified as assemblage A were obtained in asymptomatic children. Giardia duodenalis infections were more prevalent in children from rural day care schools, and the predominant assemblage was A, sub-assemblage AII. The higher prevalence of giardiasis in rural areas might be related to differences in personal hygiene habits, parents’ education level, source of drinking water, and inadequate hygienic toilet facilities in rural areas.
KeywordsG. duodenalis Assemblage Genotyping Triose phosphate isomerase Children; Iran
The authors are grateful to day care schoolchildren, parents, and their staffs who participated in the study.
This project was the MSc thesis of R Kasaei, who was supported by Infectious and Tropical Disease Research Center, Health Research Institute, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran (Grant No. OG/94172).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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