Genotyping of Giardia duodenalis from Southern Brown Howler Monkeys (Alouatta clamitans) from Brazil

Vet Parasitol. 2008 Nov 25;158(1-2):133-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2008.07.003. Epub 2008 Jul 19.


Giardia duodenalis is a widespread intestinal protozoan that can infect humans and animals, both domestic and wild. Independent of host, infections present with the same symptoms. However, based on host specificity, Giardia isolates have been grouped into genotypes A to G. Parasites of assemblage A and B are known to infect humans, in addition to primates and a wide variety of mammals. In Brazil, hitherto Giardia genotypes were defined only for humans and domestic animals. To evaluate the genotypes of different Giardia present among other animals, fecal samples from 28 Southern Brown Howler Monkeys (Alouatta clamitans) kept in captivity from South Brazil were screened for G. duodenalis using parasitological methods. All of them were asymptomatic, but positive for Giardia. The genotype of the G. duodenalis circulating among these animals was ascertained by molecular typing, performed using amplification and sequencing of the beta-giardin gene. Sixteen of 28 samples were successfully amplified by PCR and sequencing of this gene s revealed that all of them were of the genotype A1. These findings suggest that A. clamitans represent a potential risk of environmental contamination of a G. duodenalis genotype that also infect humans, and therefore can be considered a potential reservoir for G. duodenalis of a genotype that can also infects humans. Therefore, these results highlight a potential public health problem due to the epidemiological and molecular evidence for anthropozoonotic transmission.

MeSH terms

  • Alouatta*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Zoo / parasitology
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Disease Reservoirs / veterinary
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Giardia / classification*
  • Giardia / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monkey Diseases / epidemiology
  • Monkey Diseases / parasitology*
  • Monkey Diseases / transmission*
  • Phylogeny
  • Public Health
  • Zoonoses*