Two genetic assemblages (A and B) of the protozoan parasite species, Giardia duodenalis, infect humans, domestic animals and wildlife. In New South Wales, Australia, over 2000 sporadic human giardiasis cases are reported annually, but parasite sources and links between sporadic cases are unknown. This study describes G. duodenalis assemblages contributing to human and cattle cases in NSW, and examines demographic, spatial, and temporal distributions of NSW human infections and G. duodenalis assemblages. Genotyping by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism of the glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) gene identified G. duodenalis assemblage B as the most common (86%) cause of infection among human cases (n = 165). Approximately 37% of cattle DNA samples were PCR positive (18S rRNA, gdh), and G. duodenalis assemblages E (69%) or B (31%) were identified from these samples. Human assemblage A was more common among older age groups, and seasonality in the geographic dispersal of human assemblage A was observed. The results of this study indicate G. duodenalis assemblage B is highly prevalent among humans in NSW, and the potential for cross-species transmission exists between humans and cattle in this region. Spatio-temporal and demographic distributions of human assemblage A and B are highlighted, and risk factors associated with these dispersal patterns warrants further research.
- Giardia duodenalis
- New South Wales