BACKGROUND: Giardia duodenalis is a zoonotic protozoan parasite causing diarrhea through waterborne or fecal-oral infection. The cysts can live in the drinking water and cause pandemic diseases. In Taiwan, very little information is available regarding the epidemiology of G. duodenalis in domestic animals.
METHODS: Fecal samples were collected from cattle (n = 156) and pigs (n = 141) in Hualien country, eastern Taiwan. Detection and genotyping were done by microscopy examination of fecal samples and amplification of the β-giardin gene using nested PCR.
RESULTS: The prevalence of G. duodenalis infection was 19.87% for cattle (31/156) and 4.26% for pigs (6/141). Using nested PCR, 30 infected samples found in cattle belonged to Assemblage E, and one sample belonged to Assemblage D. For pigs, four samples belonged to Assemblage E, one belonged to Assemblage D, and another one belonged to Assemblage A. In addition, these results showed that G. duodenalis Assemblage A was detected in pigs and may cause zoonotic transmission.
CONCLUSION: This is the first epidemiological investigation of G. duodenalis infection in animals in Hualien, Taiwan. These results could provide epidemiological information for disease control and public health protection.
Keywords: Cattle Genotyping Giardia duodenalis Pig