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Giardia duodenalis in the UK: current knowledge of risk factors and public health implications

  • B. Horton (a1), H. Bridle (a2), C. L. Alexander (a3) and F. Katzer (a1)

Giardia duodenalis is a ubiquitous flagellated protozoan parasite known to cause giardiasis throughout the world. Potential transmission vehicles for this zoonotic parasite are both water and food sources. As such consumption of water contaminated by feces, or food sources washed in contaminated water containing parasite cysts, may result in outbreaks. This creates local public health risks which can potentially cause widespread infection and long-term post-infection sequelae. This paper provides an up-to-date overview of G. duodenalis assemblages, sub-assemblages, hosts and locations identified. It also summarizes knowledge of potential infection/transmission routes covering water, food, person-to-person infection and zoonotic transmission from livestock and companion animals. Public health implications focused within the UK, based on epidemiological data, are discussed and recommendations for essential Giardia developments are highlighted.

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Author for correspondence: B. Horton, E-mail:
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