Author(s): Ventura LL, Oliveira DR, Viana JC, Santos JF, Caliari MV,
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Abstract Giardiasis is one of the most common parasitic diseases worldwide, and the disease is an important cause of diarrhoea and malabsorption in children and immunosuppressed individuals. However, there is no evidence that characterises malnutrition as an aggravating factor for this disease. We evaluated changes in villi structures to examine the association between malnutrition and Giardia lamblia infection. We used 32 gerbils, divided into 4 groups: Control (CT) and Control Infected (CTIn), which each received a 20\% protein diet, Malnourished (MN) and Malnourished Infected (MNIn), which each received a 5\% protein diet. Groups CTIn and MNIn were inoculated with 1×10(6) trophozoites of G. lamblia, while the remaining groups were mock infected. Seven days post-infection, all groups were sacrificed, and the proximal portions of the small intestines were collected for the analysis of villus height, mucus area and extent of Giardia infection. Gerbils fed with a low-protein diet had significantly lower body weights. Malnourished infected animals presented significantly increased production of mucus, suggesting a synergism occurs between malnutrition and Giardiasis, potentially to control the adhesion of Giardia in the mucosa. Villus height was significantly lower in group MNIn compared to CTIn. This work suggests that malnutrition contributes to severity of Giardiasis by decreasing the intestinal absorption capacity via shortening of the villi. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Exp Parasitol
and referenced in Pediatrics & Therapeutics