Which patient groups are at high risk for giardiasis?

Updated: Oct 01, 2018
  • Author: Hisham Nazer, MBBCh, FRCP, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Burt Cagir, MD, FACS  more...
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Giardia species are endemic in areas of the world that have poor sanitation. In developing countries, the disease is an important cause of morbidity. Water-borne and food-borne outbreaks are common. Because ingestion of as few as 10 Giardia cysts may be sufficient to cause infection, giardiasis is common in daycare center attendees and institutionalized patients in developed countries. G intestinalis is a particularly significant pathogen for people with malnutrition, immunodeficiencies, or cystic fibrosis.

High-risk groups for giardiasis include travelers to highly endemic areas, immunocompromised individuals, and certain sexually active homosexual men. Cyst passage rates as high as 20% have been reported among certain groups of sexually active homosexual men. These individuals were frequently symptomatic. [12, 18]

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