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Transmission, Immune Response, and Immunomodulation in Giardiasis

Durgadas N.


Giardiasis is a major public health problem at least in terms of morbidity in many geographical areas of the world. There are regional pockets in developing countries where prevalence rate of giardiasis is much higher than other parasitic diseases. The prevalence of Giardia intestinalis in symptomatic diarrhoeal cases vary from place to place and also from time to time. The overall prevalence generally ranges from 2 to 57% and mainly occurs in children of socioeconomically backward group in developing countries. The patients, carriers, foodhandlers, water bodies, fruits and vegetables are the major sources of parasite. The cyst form of the parasites survives for many weeks in water. Recently, giardiasis is also known for its zoonotic transmission potential. Non-specific immune response of nitric oxide, mast cells and dendritic cells are the primary defence mechanisms against Giardia. Both specific and nonspecific immune response play major role in control of infection. Further investigations are required to understand the mechanisms involved in immunomodulation that results in minimal inflammation and asymptomatic cases. A number of studies recommended that the food handlers must be screened for the presence of parasites. Although drug resistance is not a major issue, the mixed infections especially in immune-compromised patients pose problems in treating infection. In addition to microscopic examination, rapid diagnostic tests are recommended to be used in the laboratory diagnosis. Personal and public hygiene play important role in the prevention. Mass deworming programs for children in child care centres and primary school are the possible measures in the areas where prevalence rate is high.


Keywords: Giardia intestinalis, immunomodulation, zoonotic transmission, immunity, drug resistance, metronidazole

Cite this Article

Durgadas Govind Naik. Transmission, Immune response, and Immunomodulation in Giardiasis. Research and Reviews: Journal of Immunology. 2016; 6(2): 13–19p

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