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Giardia lamblia-infected preschoolers present growth delays independent of the assemblage A, B or E.

BACKGROUND: Intestinal parasite Giardia can affect children's physical development mainly stunting even in asymptomatic cases. The protozoa G. lamblia is divided into assemblages A-H. However, it is still unclear whether clinical manifestations and pathogenesis may vary according to the infecting assemblage.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether G. lamblia assemblages influence differently the physical development of preschoolers from a community of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

METHODS: Anthropometric parameters were analysed from children attending a daycare centre and stool samples were obtained for the G. lamblia diagnosis. G. lamblia isolates from positive samples were genotyped. Data were analysed in order to verify whether there is a relationship between G. lamblia infection and the physical development of children according to the assemblage.

FINDINGS: Herein we demonstrated that although eutrophic, G. lamblia-infected daycare preschoolers from a low-income community presented growth delay compared to non-infected ones. This effect was observed for the three assemblages (A, B or E) found infecting humans.

MAIN CONCLUSION: G. lamblia causes growth delays on children independent of infecting assemblage (A, B or E).

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