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Comparison of human and canine Giardia infection patterns in the USA

A. S. Mohamed, M. Levine, J. W. Camp Jr, E. Lund and others

Giardia are protozoal parasites that affect many species, including people. Zoonotic transmission of Giardia has been shown experimentally, but its occurrence in natural conditions remains unclear. This study aimed to describe the temporal pattern of giardiasis among dogs and people in the USA and to assess whether the temporal patterns of infection were correlated.

Canine faecal test data were acquired from the clinical database of a small animal general practice with more than 700 hospital locations throughout the USA. Information on Giardia cases in people was obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's notifiable disease database. Data on all human Giardia cases reported between 2003 and 2009 were obtained and analysed. Monthly incidence rates of Giardia infection in dogs and people were calculated, plotted against time and compared.

The annual number of reported cases of giardiasis in people remained relatively stable across the study period, ranging from approximately 18,000 to around 20,000 per year. The seasonal number of cases in people fluctuated, with the lowest numbers in February and the highest numbers in August. The number of dogs being tested for …

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