Giardiasis in the Southwest Region of the United States: Causes and Preventive Measures

Jeriah Boyd1 and Shazia Tabassum Hakim1*

1 Hakim’s Lab., School of STEM, Diné College, Tuba City, AZ, USA.

*Corresponding Author: Shazia Tabassum Hakim, Hakim’s Lab., School of STEM, Diné College, Tuba City, AZ, USA.


Received: September 01, 2023     Published: September 21, 2023



Giardia is a protozoan parasite of the small intestine, and a leading cause of diarrheal diseases worldwide in a variety of animals, as well as humans. Despite the decrease, Giardiasis remains the most commonly reported intestinal parasitic infection principally in the Southwestern region of the United States. The parasite is typically transmitted by fecal-oral route and may be transmitted by direct intake or indirectly from contaminated food or water. Symptomatic Giardiasis is often treated to reduce the duration of symptoms, to prevent future complications, and to minimize transmission of the parasite to other hosts. The clinical image of Giardiasis is mixed, with high variability in severity of clinical disease which can become chronic or be followed by post-infectious sequelae. At present, treatment options include nitroimidazoles derivatives; especially metronidazole, which has been the mainstay of treatment for decades and is still widely used. The Navajo Nation located in the Southwestern region of the United States has suffered from the scarcity of water expediting Navajo populations to use water resources such as underground water, river streams, lakes and surface water as their main source of accessibility. The lack of adequate domestic and municipal water has led several Navajo families to become ill with waterborne infectious diseases like Giardiasis. More recently, molecular methods have become amateur in diagnosis for testing patient samples as well as water samples for Giardiasis. Through direct immunofluorescent staining and other methods that detect intact organisms have improved the detection of Giardia trophozoites or cysts. An understanding of clinical and molecular variability of organisms is important for effective treatment and the response of remedies that are commonly used. The molecular classification of bacteria and viruses isolated from Indigenous patients might have their own specification that can be correlated with isolates from water samples collected from the same localities. This correlation could help us in source tracking and finding solutions for the communities who are already at risk due to the lack of infrastructure and resources. In this review of literature, the causes and preventive measures of Giardiasis are covered to potentially help understand the importance behind this parasitic disease, more specifically on the Navajo Nation of the Southwest of the US.

Keywords: Giardiasis, Parasitic disease, Infection.

Citation: Boyd J, Hakim ST. Giardiasis in the Southwest Region of the United States: Causes and Preventive Measures. SVOA Microbiology 2023, 4:2, 48-55.