OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the epidemiology of Giardia lamblia infection, investigate factors which might be associated with clinical manifestations and recurrence, and examine the role of copathogens in disease course. METHODS: Prospective 4-year cohort study of children born in an urban slum in north-eastern Brazil. RESULTS: Of 157 children followed for ≥ 3 months, 43 (27.4%) were infected with Giardia. The organism was identified in 8.8% of all stool specimens, and although found with similar frequency in non-diarrhoeal (7.4%) and diarrhoeal stools (9.7%), was more common in children with persistent (20.6%) than acute diarrhoea (7.6%, P = 0.002). Recurrent or relapsing infections were common (46%). Children with symptomatic infections had significantly lower weight-for-age and height-for-age than asymptomatic children. Copathogens were not associated with disease course. CONCLUSION: With its protean clinical manifestations, Giardia may be associated with substantial morbidity amongst children in Brazil.
- Giardia lamblia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases