Genetic analysis of Giardia duodenalis isolates from children of low-income families living in an economically successful region in Southeastern Brazil
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Giardia duodenalis is one of the most important and widespread gastrointestinal parasites in the world. Despite its relevance as a causative agent of diarrhea, asymptomatic giardiasis occurs frequently. especially in low resources settings in which children are exposed to many risk factors. Based on microscopic examination and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification and sequencing of beta-giardin (bg), triose phosphate isomerase (tpi) and glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) genes, we assessed G. duodenalis occurrence and genetic diversity in isolates of children attending a daycare center and living in low income families, in an economically successful region. Considering both, microscopic examination and PCR/sequencing methods, the overall prevalence of Giardia infection was 51.4%, with the highest frequency in children aged 1-4 years old (p<0.05). Genotyping of 50 isolates revealed that the assemblage A was found in 60% of the samples (30/50), followed by the assemblage B in 38% (19/50) and 2% of mixed-assemblage infections (1/50). At the sub-assemblage level, isolates genotyped as A were All and among isolates B, BIII and BIV were identified. Both assemblages A and B were detected in children of all age groups . however assemblage A was more prevalent. The detection of anthroponotic assemblages and sub-assemblages (AII, BM and BIV) reinforces human-to-human transmission, mainly in children of all age groups when they have not yet received toilet training, making them more vulnerable to infection.