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Molecular analysis of Giardia duodenalis isolates from symptomatic and asymptomatic children from La Habana, Cuba

Jerez Puebla, Luis Enrique, Núñez, Fidel A., Santos, Lissette Pérez, Rivero, Lázara Rojas, Silva, Isabel Martínez, Valdés, Lucía Ayllón, Millán, Iraís Atencio, Müller, Norbert
Parasite epidemiology and control 2017 v.2 no.3 pp. 105-113
DNA, Giardia lamblia, children, diarrhea, epidemiology, feces, genes, genetic markers, genetic variation, genotyping, giardiasis, hospitals, humans, mixed infection, parasites, phylogeny, polymerase chain reaction, ribosomal RNA, sequence analysis, triose-phosphate isomerase, Cuba
Giardiasis is considered the most common intestinal parasitic disease in humans worldwide. In Cuba, this infection has particularly a strong clinical impact on the child population. Giardia duodenalis is a highly diverse protozoan, which comprises a complex of eight morphologically identical genetic assemblages, further divided into sub-assemblages. The present study used triose phosphate isomerase (tpi) and small-subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) genes as genetic markers for the identification of G. duodenalis assemblages and sub-assemblages in correlation with clinical and epidemiological data in children attended at the Paediatric Hospital “William Soler” and at Pedro Kouri Institute, between 2015 and 2016. A prevalence of 8% of G. duodenalis infection was recorded in stool samples after concentration techniques from 68 children out of 847 analysed. A 100% detection of Giardia DNA was achieved by a SSU-rRNA PCR, whereas DNA from 63 of 68 (92.6%) was successfully amplified by tpi-PCR. By this assemblage-specific tpi-PCR 32 (50.8%) assemblage B, 17 (27.0%) assemblage A and 14 (22.2%) mixed infection (A+B) were identified. Assemblage B was significantly (P<0.02) more frequently found in children with diarrhoea. Sequence analysis of the tpi gene of Giardia isolates from symptomatic children showed that assemblage A belonged to the sub-assemblage AII, and 4 sub assemblages BIV and 1 sub assemblage BIII were also recorded. Only 2 discordant genotyping results were observed by phylogenetic comparison of SSU-rRNA and tpi sequences. Further studies with novel molecular tools for a better discrimination at the sub-assemblage level are needed to identify the dynamics of spread of giardiasis and to verify possible correlations between Giardia genetic diversity and clinical manifestation.