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Exp Parasitol. 2000 Jun;95(2):128-35.

Giardia lamblia: effect of infection with symptomatic and asymptomatic isolates on the growth of gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus).

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Departamento de Patología Experimental, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del I. P. N., Av. I. P. N. 2508, Zacatenco, Mexico, D.F, C. P. 07360, Mexico.


Gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) were intragastrically inoculated with axenic Giardia lamblia cultures from symptomatic and asymptomatic children. All isolates were able to colonize the duodenum. However, the colonization capacity of the symptomatic isolates was significantly higher compared to that of the asymptomatic ones. Despite the different colonization capacity of the isolates, the growth curves of infected animals were significantly lower than those of controls. The study demonstrates that acute giardia infections are capable of altering the corporal development of the host. These results may suggest that not only symptomatic, but also asymptomatic giardiasis in children, often unnoticed by parents and clinicians, could be causing a silent detriment in their nutritional status.

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