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<i>Giardia lamblia</i> infections in children in Ghana

Isaac Anim-Baidoo
Charles Akugbey Narh
Dora Oddei
Charles Addoquaye Brown
Christabel Enweronu-Laryea
Betty Bandoh
Eric Sampane-Donkor
George Armah
Andrew Anthony Adjei
David Nana Adjei
Patrick Ferdinand Ayeh-Kumi
Ben Adu Gyan


Introduction: though giardiasis is an important public health problem in Ghana, several aspects of its epidemiology, particularly the molecular epidemiology has not been investigated adequately. This could be a major hindrance to effective surveillance and control of giardiasis in the country. The study was carried out to determine the prevalence, risk factors and genotypes of Giardia lamblia infecting children at a paediatric hospital in Ghana. Methods: a total of 485 patients including 365 diarrhoea and 120 non-diarrhoea children were enrolled into the study. Stool samples were collected and analysed for parasite presence using microscopy, ELISA and PCR. Positive samples were subsequently characterized into assemblages by PCR-RFLP, and further confirmed with sequencing of the glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) gene. Epidemiological data on demographic, clinical and behavioral features of the study subjects were also collected. Results: prevalence of G. lamblia infections in diarrhea and non-diarrhea children were 5.8% and 5% respectively (P>0.5). Sequence data confirmed Giardia lamblia assemblage B as the predominant genotype in both diarrhoea and non-diarrhoea cases. There was no significant association of G. lamblia infection with any of the epidemiological variables investigated. Conclusion: our findings suggest that assemblage B could be the predominant genotype causing giardiasis in children. Increased public health education focusing on good sanitary practices, particularly among mothers and children, could decrease the risk of G. lamblia infection.

The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24

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eISSN: 1937-8688