Giardia duodenalis infection in dogs from the metropolitan area of Lisbon, Portugal: prevalence, genotyping and associated risk factors

A. Pereira, J. Teixeira, A. Sousa, R. Parreira, L. Campino, J. Meireles, C. Maia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Giardia duodenalis is a cosmopolitan enteric protozoan that affects a wide range of vertebrates, including humans and dogs. Genetic characterisation reveals eight different assemblages, with A and B having been found mainly in humans and several other animals, and thus considered potentially zoonotic, while C and D are adapted to infect dogs. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of G. duodenalis, their distribution into assemblages, and risk factors associated with their infection of dogs from the metropolitan area of Lisbon. Giardia duodenalis cysts were microscopically identified in 33.8% (27/80) of the faecal samples analysed. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that dogs under 6 months of age and from both breeders and shelters, had a significantly higher risk of being infected with G. duodenalis. Based on phylogenetic analysis of the partial coding sequences for β-giardin, glutamate dehydrogenase, and triosephosphate isomerase, the parasites found in three dog isolates were typed as G. duodenalis assemblage C, 11 were typed as D, and four were typed as C or D, depending on the targeted genes. The risk to public health seems to be reduced, as no genotypes with zoonotic potential have been detected. Nevertheless, better health management towards a minimisation of the environmental faecal pollution, as well as an increase in the awareness of health professionals, dog owners, dog breeders and caregivers regarding the risks posed by this protozoan to the health of animals and humans, are recommended.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Parasitic Diseases
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2020

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