Epidemiology and associated risk factors of giardiasis in a peri-urban setting in New South Wales Australia

P. Zajaczkowski, S. Mazumdar, S. Conaty, J. T. Ellis, S. M. Fletcher-Lartey

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Giardiasis is one of the most important non-viral causes of human diarrhoea. Yet, little is known about the epidemiology of giardiasis in the context of developed countries such as Australia and there is a limited information about local sources of exposure to inform prevention strategies in New South Wales. This study aimed to (1) describe the epidemiology of giardiasis and (2) identify potential modifiable risk factors associated with giardiasis that are unique to south-western Sydney, Australia. A 1:2 matched case-control study of 190 confirmed giardiasis cases notified to the South-Western Local Health District Public Health Unit from January to December 2016 was employed to investigate the risk factors for giardiasis. Two groups of controls were selected to increase response rate; Pertussis cases and neighbourhood (NBH) controls. A matched analysis was carried out for both control groups separately. Variables with a significant odds ratio (OR) in the univariate analysis were placed into a multivariable regression for each matched group, respectively. In the regression model with the NBH controls, age and sex were controlled as potential confounders. Identified risk factors included being under 5 years of age (aOR = 7.08; 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.02-49.36), having a household member diagnosed with a gastrointestinal illness (aOR = 15.89; 95% CI 1.53-164.60) and having contact with farm animals, domestic animals or wildlife (aOR = 3.03; 95% CI 1.08-8.54). Cases that travelled overseas were at increased risk of infection (aOR = 19.89; 95% CI 2.00-197.37) when compared with Pertussis cases. This study provides an update on the epidemiology and associated risk factors of a neglected tropical disease, which can inform enhanced surveillance and prevention strategies in the developed metropolitan areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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