Molecular Characterization of Giardia intestinalis Detected in Humans and Water Samples in Egypt



Giardia intestinalis is a common cause of gastrointestinal illness especially in children of developing countries. Giardia assemblages A and B are the major human infective genotypes.


The present study aimed to investigate the role of water supply in the epidemiology of giardiasis via genotyping G. intestinalis detected in diarrheic children and in water samples in Egyptian rural areas.


Stool samples of 100 diarrheic children, 40 drinking water samples and 10 raw water samples of canals were examined microscopically for Giardia. DNA was extracted from microscopically positive faecal samples and from all of the collected water samples. Amplification of Giardia tpi gene was performed by a nested PCR using assemblage A- and assemblage B-specific primers. Giardia gdh gene was amplified by a heminested PCR. Giardia genotypes were determined by restriction fragment polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the amplified products. Sequencing of the amplified products was performed in two faecal and two water samples


Giardia intestinalis was detected in 24 children, in none of the drinking water samples and in all canal water samples. Giardia sub-assemblage AII was identified in all stool and raw water samples. The RFLP pattern was confirmed in sequenced samples.


The presence of the same Giardia sub-assemblage in diarrheic children and in raw water samples shows by molecular evidence the potential for waterborne dissemination of Giardia in Egypt. Further studies are needed to monitor cyst levels and infectivity of the genotype detected in water for risk assessment and management.

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Correspondence to Naglaa Fathi Abd El-Latif.

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Abd El-Latif, N.F., El-Taweel, H.A., Gaballah, A. et al. Molecular Characterization of Giardia intestinalis Detected in Humans and Water Samples in Egypt. Acta Parasit. 65, 482–489 (2020).

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  • Giardia
  • Assemblages
  • Diarrhea
  • Children
  • Water
  • PCR