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Prev Vet Med. 2014 Feb 1;113(2):249-56. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2013.11.006. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

Temporal patterns of human and canine Giardia infection in the United States: 2003-2009.

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Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
Department of Statistics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.
Banfield Pet Hospitalâ„¢, Portland, OR, USA.
Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, USA.
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA. Electronic address:


Giardia protozoa have been suspected to be of zoonotic transmission, including transmission from companion animals such as pet dogs to humans. Patterns of infection have been previously described for dogs and humans, but such investigations have used different time periods and locations for these two species. Our objective was to describe and compare the overall trend and seasonality of Giardia species infection among dogs and humans in the United States from 2003 through 2009 in an ecological study using public health surveillance data and medical records of pet dogs visiting a large nationwide private veterinary hospital. Canine data were obtained from all dogs visiting Banfield hospitals in the United States with fecal test results for Giardia species, from January 2003 through December 2009. Incidence data of human cases from the same time period were obtained from the CDC. Descriptive time plots, a seasonal trend decomposition (STL) procedure, and seasonal autoregressive moving-average (SARIMA) models were used to assess the temporal characteristics of Giardia infection in the two species. Canine incidence showed a gradual decline from 2003 to 2009 with no significant/distinct regular seasonal component. By contrast, human incidence showed a stable annual rate with a significant regular seasonal cycle, peaking in August and September. Different temporal patterns in human and canine Giardia cases observed in this study suggest that the epidemiological disease processes underlying both series might be different, and Giardia transmission between humans and their companion dogs seems uncommon.


Ecological study; Giardia spp.; Infectious disease; Protozoa; Surveillance; Temporal; Zoonosis

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