Occurrence of Giardia duodenalis in selected stations and tributary rivers of Laguna Lake, Philippines

Environ Monit Assess. 2021 Jul 5;193(8):466. doi: 10.1007/s10661-021-09240-6.


Fecal pollution is a major contributor to the progressive degradation of Laguna Lake, the Philippines' largest inland lake used for aquaculture, recreation, and as a source of irrigation and domestic water. Consequently, intestinal parasites may be present in this body of water, posing risks to water safety and human health. This study was able to detect the protozoan parasite, Giardia duodenalis, in three Laguna Lake stations and seven tributary rivers in a 13-month monitoring period by PCR amplification of the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU rRNA) gene of Giardia cysts concentrated from water samples. The pathogen was present in 37.7% of tributary samples (n = 69) and 16.7% of lake samples (n = 36). Notable frequencies of detection were observed in four tributary rivers -Bagumbayan, Taguig (66.7%); Santa Rosa, Laguna (55.6%); San Cristobal, Cabuyao, Laguna (44.4%); and Biñan, Laguna (42.9%). All test SSU rRNA gene sequences were identified as human-infective genotypes of G. duodenalis predominated by Assemblage A (94.1%). Furthermore, analysis of the glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) gene revealed the possible presence of mixed genotypes in at least two samples. These results support the pressing need to include protozoan pathogen monitoring in Laguna Lake and its tributaries to prevent Giardia infection in humans and animals. This study also recommends microbial source tracking to identify fecal pollution sources and aid in regulation of waste discharges into the lake and its tributaries.

Keywords: Fecal pollution; Genotyping; Giardia duodenalis; Laguna Lake; Philippines.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Feces
  • Genotype
  • Giardia lamblia* / genetics
  • Giardiasis* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Lakes
  • Philippines
  • Rivers