Genetic variability and transcontinental sharing of Giardia duodenalis infrapopulations determined by glutamate dehydrogenase gene

Acta Trop. 2018 Jan:177:146-156. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2017.10.001. Epub 2017 Oct 13.


Microevolutionary data of Giardia duodenalis sub-assemblages is a prerequisite for determining the invasion zoonotic patterns of the parasite. To infer transmission patterns that could not be differentiated by the phenotypic features, a population genetic investigation is crucial for the elucidation of the genetic structure of G. duodenalis among the continents. Forty G. duodenalis positive fecal samples were collected from different foci of Northwest Iran. The specimens were subjected to Trichrome staining and sucrose gradient flotation. DNA samples were extracted, amplified, and sequenced by targeting glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) gene. The global gdh sequences of sub-assemblages AII and BIV retrieved from NCBI GenBank were analyzed to estimate diversity indices, neutrality indices, and gene migration tests. Sequencing analyses indicated various levels of genetic variability of sub-assemblages AII and BIV among the five continents. Sub-assemblage BIV had greater genetic variability (haplotype diversity: 0.975; nucleotide diversity: 0.04246) than sub-assemblage AII. The statistical Fst value demonstrated that the genetic structure of sub-assemblages AII and BIV are moderately differentiated between European-American populations (Fst: 0.05352-0.15182), whereas a significant differentiation was not seen among other geographical population pairs. We conclude that a high gene flow of G. duodenalis sub-assemblages AII and BIV is unequivocally sharing among the continents. The current findings strengthen our knowledge to assess the evolutionary patterns of G. duodenalis in endemic foci of the world and it will become the basis of public health policy to control human giardiasis.

Keywords: Gene flow; Genetic variability; Giardia duodenalis; Glutamate dehydrogenase; Iran.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Europe
  • Feces / parasitology*
  • Gene Flow*
  • Genetic Testing
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genetics, Population*
  • Genotype
  • Giardia lamblia / genetics*
  • Giardiasis / epidemiology
  • Giardiasis / genetics*
  • Glutamate Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • North America
  • Phenotype
  • South America


  • Glutamate Dehydrogenase