Hematological profile in natural progression of giardiasis: kinetics of experimental infection in gerbils
Introduction: The clinical manifestations of giardiasis and its impact are harmful to children, and may cause deficits in their physical and cognitive development. The pathogenic mechanisms are usually unknown and the available reports can be controversial.
Methodology: The present study aimed to know, for the first time, the evolution of the hematological profile of the gerbils, experimentally infected with Giardia lamblia, up to the infection’s resolution. Hematological variables have been tested.
Results: White blood cells have not presented meaningful alterations during the course of the infection. A significant reduction in the number of red blood cells (p = 0.021), in the concentration of hemoglobin (p = 0.029) and in the value of the hematocrit (p = 0.016) has been observed, starting from the second week of infection, ratifying an anemia related to giardiasis. Reduction in the level of serum iron starting from the third week of infection, despite not being significant, could suggest the participation of iron in the anemia. However, the weight of the animals was kept and the hematimetric parameters started to return to the basic values after the parasitological cure without iron reposition.
Conclusions: The outcomes found suggest the idea that not only malabsorption but also other mechanisms such as chronic inflammation may be implicated in iron deficiency anemia in giardiasis and may explain how asymptomatic patients may have anemia without malabsorption. In this context, considering the highlighting character of the anemia in our study, we believe that anemia should be investigated in children with giardiasis. And in the cases of anemia without a definite etiology, giardiasis should also be investigated.
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