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Detection of potentially human infectious assemblages of Giardia duodenalis in fecal samples from beef and dairy cattle in Scotland

  • Paul M. Bartley (a1), Beeke K. Roehe (a1), Sarah Thomson (a1), Hannah J. Shaw (a1), Frederieke Peto (a1), Elisabeth A. Innes (a1) and Frank Katzer (a1)...


This study aimed to determine the prevalence and assemblages of Giardia duodenalis present in Scottish beef and dairy cattle at different ages, to try to ascertain if cattle could play a role in the spread of zoonotic assemblages of Giardia. A total of 388 fecal samples (128 beef and 253 dairy, seven of unknown breed) were collected from 19 farms in Scotland. Samples were sub-divided by host age, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, 7–24 and ⩾25 weeks. DNA was extracted and tested by PCR to detect G. duodenalis DNA. Of the 388 samples, 126 tested positive, giving an overall prevalence of 32.5%, with positive samples being observed in all age groups tested. The prevalence in dairy cattle was 44.7% (113/235), which was significantly higher (P < 0.001) than the prevalence in beef cattle 10.1% (13/128). Sequence analysis demonstrated the presence of assemblage E (77.2%, sequence types E-S1–E-S5), assemblage B (18.2%) and assemblage A (sub-assemblages AI-AII) (4.6%). These data demonstrate that G. duodenalis is found routinely in both dairy and beef cattle throughout Scotland; the presence of assemblages A and B also indicates that cattle may play a role in the spread of potentially zoonotic assemblages of Giardia.


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Author for correspondence: Paul M Bartley, E-mail:


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Detection of potentially human infectious assemblages of Giardia duodenalis in fecal samples from beef and dairy cattle in Scotland

  • Paul M. Bartley (a1), Beeke K. Roehe (a1), Sarah Thomson (a1), Hannah J. Shaw (a1), Frederieke Peto (a1), Elisabeth A. Innes (a1) and Frank Katzer (a1)...


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