Giardia lamblia carriage in Israeli Bedouin infants: risk factors and consequences

Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Mar;30(3):419-24. doi: 10.1086/313722.


Giardiasis is a common protozoan infection, with varying clinical manifestations. We investigated the associations between Giardia lamblia carriage and environmental, family, illness, and growth characteristics. Bedouin infants (n=234) were followed from birth to age 18-23 months. At monthly home visits, stool samples were obtained, history of illness was determined, and an environmental assessment was done. The comparisons presented are between 4 groups defined by length of carriage of G. lamblia. Study children had a mean+/-SD of 4.1+/-2.9 diarrhea episodes. No illness, environmental, or family characteristics were associated with length of carriage. Significant differences were found in weight-for-age and weight-for-height z scores between the never-positive-for-G. lamblia group and all other carriage groups combined. Faltering growth was shown to be subsequent to G. lamblia infection rather than preceding it. Our findings confirm that G. lamblia carriage is not associated with diarrhea. However, the effect on growth deserves further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Arabs*
  • Carrier State / ethnology*
  • Carrier State / parasitology
  • Diarrhea / parasitology
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Giardia lamblia / isolation & purification*
  • Giardiasis / ethnology*
  • Giardiasis / parasitology
  • Giardiasis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors