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Indian J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jan;31(1):3-12. doi: 10.1007/s12664-012-0161-9. Epub 2012 Feb 7.

Giardiasis: a review on assemblage distribution and epidemiology in India.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore 632 004, India.


Giardiasis is a significant cause of diarrheal disease and associated morbidity in children and adults worldwide. In addition to diarrhea, it can also lead to malnutrition and cognitive deficits in children from developing countries. Giardia duodenalis is considered to be a species complex of several assemblages, of which assemblage A and B are predominantly associated with human infections. Assemblage type has been associated with risk of occurrence of symptoms and duration of illness. Hence genotyping of giardial isolates may help understand better the epidemiology and transmission ecology of the disease in a particular setting or area. In India, prevalence rates of Giardia infection in patients with diarrhea range from 0.4% to 70%, and asymptomatic cyst passage has been found to be as high as 50% in rural southern India. In this review, the global distribution of giardial assemblage, zoonotic transmission and the association of assemblage with disease have been discussed, followed by epidemiology of giardiasis in India.

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