Author(s): Thompson RC
The reasons for considering giardiasis as a re-emerging infectious disease are presented, with emphasis on Giardia infections in child care centres, livestock and pets, and the role of zoonotic transmission. However, the aetiology and control of giardiasis is complicated by the genetic and phenotypic variability of Giardia species infective to mammals. Of particular significance has been the uncertainty about host specificity and the question of zoonotic transmission. The recent application of molecular characterisation procedures based on PCR has made an enormous contribution to an understanding of the genetic structure of Giardia populations, and this is reviewed in the context of the zoonotic transmission and molecular epidemiology of Giardia infections.