Giardia intestinalis infection associated with malnutrition in children living in northeastern Brazil
Introduction: The present study aimed to determine the prevalence and factors associated with Giardia intestinalis infection, verifying its impact on the nutritional status of children in northeastern Brazil.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted to obtain parasitological, sociodemographic, and anthropometric data in two municipalities in the states of Piauí and Ceará, northeastern Brazil.
Results: Prevalence of giardiasis was 55/511 (10.8%). G. intestinalis was more frequent in people living in poverty (30/209 [14.4%], p = 0.041), performing open evacuation (26/173 [15%], p = 0.034), and drinking rainwater stored in cisterns (9/56 [16.1%], p = 0.005). The proportion of stunting and being underweight in children infected with G. intestinalis was significantly higher than that in uninfected children (5/23 [21.7%] vs. 10/179 [5.6%], p = 0.017, OR = 4.69, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.44–15.25 and 5/23 [21.7%] vs. 13/179 [7.3%], p = 0.038, OR = 3.54, 95% CI = 1.13–11.09, respectively). Infection with G. intestinalis remained significantly associated with stunting and being underweight after adjustment for poverty, municipality, sex, and age in a logistic regression multivariate model.
Conclusions: In rural areas in northeastern Brazil, giardiasis has acquired great public health importance in the soil-transmitted helminths control era, impacting the nutritional status of children and requiring new approaches to diagnosis and treatment and translational research that could generate applicable solutions at the community level.
Copyright (c) 2017 Beatriz Coronato-Nunes, Deiviane Aparecida Calegar, Kerla Joeline Lima Monteiro, Lauren Hubert-Jaeger, Elis Regina Chaves Reis, Samanta CC Xavier, Lindsay Nicole Carpp, Marli Maria Lima, Márcio N Bóia, Filipe Anibal Carvalho-Costa
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