A scoping review of risk factors and transmission routes associated with human giardiasis outbreaks in high-income settings

Krumrie, S., Capewell, P. , Smith-Palmer, A., Mellor, D. , Weir, W. and Alexander, C. L. (2022) A scoping review of risk factors and transmission routes associated with human giardiasis outbreaks in high-income settings. Current Research in Parasitology and Vector-Borne Diseases, 2, 100084. (doi: 10.1016/j.crpvbd.2022.100084)

[img] Text
271237.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



The flagellated pathogen Giardia duodenalis is one of the leading causes of parasitic gastrointestinal illness worldwide. In many higher income countries, such as the United Kingdom, the disease is often perceived as being travel-related, likely leading to the under-reporting of sporadic cases and outbreaks. A summary of the literature describing outbreaks and risk factors in higher income countries is necessary to improve our understanding of this pathogen and identify existing knowledge gaps. Initial literature searches were carried out in September 2016 and updated at regular intervals until November 2021, using appropriate search terms in Medline, Embase and PubMed databases. A total of 75 papers met the inclusion criteria, revealing that the consumption of contaminated water and contact with young children of diaper-wearing age were the most common transmission routes leading to outbreaks of giardiasis. Of the ten studies where food was primarily associated with outbreaks, food handlers accounted for eight of these. Another reported transmission route was direct contact with fecal material, which was reported in six studies as the primary transmission route. Travel-associated giardiasis was considered the sole transmission route in two studies, whereas multiple transmission routes contributed to giardiasis outbreaks in eleven studies. The evidence around zoonotic transmission was less clear and hampered by the lack of robust and regularly applied parasite molecular typing techniques. This literature review summarizes the findings of Giardia outbreak investigations and epidemiological studies in high-income countries. Transmission routes are identified and discussed to highlight the associated risk factors. These data also indicate gaps in our current knowledge that include the need for robust, in-depth molecular studies and have underscored the importance of water as a transmission route for Giardia cysts. These future molecular studies will improve our understanding of Giardia epidemiology and transmission pathways in higher income countries to prevent spread of this significantly under-reported pathogen.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Alexander, Miss Claire and Mellor, Professor Dominic and Krumrie, Miss Sarah and Weir, Professor Willie and Capewell, Dr Paul
Authors: Krumrie, S., Capewell, P., Smith-Palmer, A., Mellor, D., Weir, W., and Alexander, C. L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Current Research in Parasitology and Vector-Borne Diseases
ISSN (Online):2667-114X
Published Online:14 March 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Current Research in Parasitology and Vector-Borne Diseases 2:100084
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
303110Investigating the epidemiology of endemic Giardia in Scotland using a whole genome sequencing approachWilliam WeirOffice of the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSO)TCS/18/22Vets - Veterinary Pathology, Public Health & Disease Investigation