Genetic Assemblages of Giardia lamblia Infection among School Children in Ibadan Municipality
Imo S George*
Cell Biology and Genetics Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author: Imo S George, Cell Biology and Genetics Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
March 20, 2023; Published:
April 10, 2023
Giardia lamblia is the etiologic agent of giardiasis in humans and other mammals worldwide. The burden of disease is high among children in developing countries where there is poor or inadequate sanitation. Giardia is a neglected tropical parasite and so the epidemiology and genetic diversity of this parasite is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to determine the genetic diversity of Giardia assemblages in asymptomatic children in public primary schools in Ibadan and to determine novel polymorphisms in arginine deiminase of Giardia lamblia. A total of 322 fresh faecal samples were collected from school children between August and December 2017, May and July, 2018. Giardia parasite was detected by microscopy and multiplex PCR was used to determine genetic assemblage of Giardia. ARGDE (arginine deiminase) gene was amplified by PCR and amplicons sequenced using Sanger sequencing. Statistical analysis was done using Fisher's exact test, Pearson's chi squared test, T test and stepwise regression at significant level of p < 0.05. Sequences were analyze using BLAST tool on NCBI, Bioedit and mega 7 software. The overall prevalence of Giardia lamblia was 18.9% (61 out of 322) as detected by microscopy. Multiplex PCR detected only 18.0% (58 out of 322). Assemblage A was the most prevalent (83.6%) compared to assemblage B (1.6%). 9.8% (6 out of 61) had mixed infection of assemblages A and B. Exposed drinking water and untreated drinking water were significant risk factors for Giardia infection. All sequenced samples (7 out of the 61 amplicons) showed no significant similarity with reference sequence of arginine deiminase of Giardia lamblia on the NCBI database. These findings indicate that there is a need to carry out national screening programs aiming to detect asymptomatic Giardia infection to minimize the spread of giardiasis and further studies using accurate molecular typing tools are imperative for unravelling the intricate molecular epidemiology of giardiasis.
Keywords: Giardiasis; Molecular Epidemiology; Intestinal Parasites; Giardia lamblia
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