Giardia pp 3-15 | Cite as

Taxonomy of Giardia Species

  • R. C. Andrew Thompson
  • Paul T. Monis


The taxonomy of Giardia has been controversial for well over 100 years, resulting in a confusing nomenclature with different names often being used for the same species. This has led to uncertainty in our understanding of the epidemiology of Giardia infections, and particularly the question of host specificity and zoonotic transmission. The lack of morphological characters on which to base a species level taxonomy for the forms of Giardia that infect mammals has not allowed these issues to be resolved. It is only recently that PCR-based tools have been developed and applied directly to isolates of Giardia from a range of mammalian species. As a consequence, the taxonomy of Giardia can now be revised providing a more effective platform for epidemiological studies and importantly, improving communication between researchers in the field.


Zoonotic Transmission Giardia Lamblia Giardia Infection Ventral Disc Temple Community 
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© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. C. Andrew Thompson
    • 1
  • Paul T. Monis
    • 2
  1. 1.World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for the Molecular Epidemiology of Parasitic Infections School of Veterinary and Biomedical SciencesMurdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia
  2. 2.Australian Water Quality CentreSouth Australian Water CorporationAdelaideAustralia

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