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Trop Med Int Health. 2014 May;19(5):563-7. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12284. Epub 2014 Feb 23.

Reduced prevalence of Giardia duodenalis in iron-deficient Rwandan children.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Nuthetal, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Acute symptomatic infection with Giardia duodenalis impairs iron absorption, but iron deficiency may protect against infections caused by various micro-organisms including parasites. We therefore examined the association of G. duodenalis infection and iron deficiency in 575 Rwandan children under 5 years of age.

METHODS:

Giardia duodenalis infection was diagnosed by triplicate microscopy and PCR assays, and iron deficiency was defined as a ferritin concentration <12 ng/ml.

RESULTS:

Largely asymptomatic G. duodenalis infection was seen in 65.3% of the children and iron deficiency in 17.4%. G. duodenalis infection was less common in iron-deficient children (51%) than in non-deficient children (68%, P = 0.002). In multivariate analysis, the odds of G. duodenalis infection were almost halved in iron-deficient children (adjusted odds ratio, 0.54; 95% confidence interval, 0.33-0.86).

CONCLUSION:

In this highly endemic setting, there was no evidence that Giardia infection impairs iron status. Rather, iron deficiency appeared to protect against infection with this parasite.

KEYWORDS:

Giardia duodenalis; Rwanda; ferritin; iron deficiency

PMID:
24898273
DOI:
10.1111/tmi.12284
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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