Risk factors for sporadic Giardia infection in the USA: a case-control study in Colorado and Minnesota

Reses, H. E.; Gargano, J. W.; Liang, J. L.; Cronquist, A.; Smith, K.; Collier, S. A.; Roy, S. L.; Vanden Eng, J.; Bogard, A.; Lee, B.; Hlavsa, M. C.; Rosenberg, E. S.; Fullerton, K. E.; Beach, M. J.; Yoder, J. S.

EPIDEMIOLOGY AND INFECTION, 146 (9):1071-1078; 10.1017/S0950268818001073 JUL 2018

Abstract: Giardia duodenalis is the most common intestinal parasite of humans in the USA, but the risk factors for sporadic (non-outbreak) giardiasis are not well described. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Colorado and Minnesota public health departments conducted a case-control study to assess risk factors for sporadic giardiasis in the USA. Cases (N = 199) were patients with non-outbreak-associated laboratory-confirmed Giardia infection in Colorado and Minnesota, and controls (N = 381) were matched by age and site. Identified risk factors included international travel (aOR = 13.9; 95% CI 4.9-39.8), drinking water from a river, lake, stream, or spring (aOR = 6.5; 95% CI 2.0-20.6), swimming in a natural body of water (aOR = 3.3; 95% CI 1.5-7.0), male-male sexual behaviour (aOR = 45.7; 95% CI 5.8-362.0), having contact with children in diapers (aOR = 1.6; 95% CI 1.01-2.6), taking antibiotics (aOR = 2.5; 95% CI 1.2-5.0) and having a chronic gastrointestinal condition (aOR = 1.8; 95% CI 1.1-3.0). Eating raw produce was inversely associated with infection (aOR = 0.2; 95% CI 0.1-0.7). Our results highlight the diversity of risk factors for sporadic giardiasis and the importance of non-international-travel-associated risk factors, particularly those involving person-to-person transmission. Prevention measures should focus on reducing risks associated with diaper handling, sexual contact, swimming in untreated water, and drinking untreated water.


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