The prevalence of Giardia infection in dogs and cats, a systematic review and meta-analysis of prevalence studies from stool samples.
Giardia duodenalis is a flagellated parasite and is considered one of the most common causes of protozoal diarrhea in both humans and animals worldwide. This paper represents the first study of the prevalence of G. duodenalis in pet dogs in Guangzhou, China. Faecal samples (209 specimens) were obtained from young (<6 months old), adult (6 months to 3 years) and elder dogs (>3 years old). 8.61% (18/209) faecal samples were recorded positive using microscopy examination, and 11.00% (23/209) using PCR. The prevalence was significantly higher in diarrheic dogs (26.31%) compared with non-diarrheic dogs (5.10%), while it was higher in young (25.58%) than both adult (7.37%) and elder (7.04%) dogs and the difference was statistically significant (P<0.05). The prevalence in male dogs 11.30% (13/115) was higher than females 10.87% (10/92), and in suburban dogs (12.15%) higher than urban 9.80%, but the difference was not statistically significant (P>0.05). Sequence analysis of the 23 PCR-positive samples revealed the presence of Assemblage D (18/23), and zoonotic Assemblage A (5/23). The present investigation reported a high infection rate of G. duodenalis in pet dogs, especially in young dogs. Genotypic characterization demonstrated that the zoonotic Assemblage A was found, a fact that poses a potential risk of G. duodenalis transmission from pet dogs to humans. It is suggested that pet owners should take appropriate hygiene measures to prevent and control giardiasis in this region.