Association between Giardiasis and Atopy in Children of Low Income Families

Ahmet Uçaktürk
Serap Özmen
Fulya Demirçeken
Zafer Arslan
Aysel Yöney


Objective: Giardiasis is a worldwide public health problem associated with significant morbidity. Giardia infection may cause food allergy by enhancing absorbotion of food allergens because it is corraleted to an increase of gastrointestinal permeability. In literature, the relationship with giardiasis and atopy is not clear. This study’s aim is to assess the relationship between giardiasis and atopy in children by conducting skin prick tests, and determining total and specific serum IgE levels.

Materials and Methods: Stool samples from each child were examined by direct fluorescence antigen assay (DFA). Socio-economic status, hygiene conditions (the family’s income level, settlement, and the source of drinking water) and allergic history of all children were recorded using standardized questionnaires. Skin prick test with cow’s milk, egg and wheat floor antigens and common aeroallergens were performed. Total and specific serum IgE for cow’s milk, egg, wheat floor and mites, molds, tree, grass and weed pollens were measured.

Results: 31 of 43 children who have gastrointestinal complaints were DFA positive for Giardia lamblia. The total serum IgE levels were high in ten of the 31 children with Giardia positive . In Giardia negatif group, total serum IgE levels were normal (p= 0.04). Skin prick test were performed in all of the patients. In Giardia positive group, there were 6 cases (19.3%) having skin prick test positivity and showing allergic reactions to Dp, grass pollens, Artemisia, and Salicea. In Giardia negatif group, there were no positive reactions. Within Giardia positive group, spesific IgE levels studied in 20 out of 31 children, 9 (45%) of them were class II or higher.

Conclusion: The results revealed that there is a relationship between giardiasis and serum IgE response but not confirmed enhanced food allergy.


Atopy, childhood, Giardia lamblia, helminhts, total serum IgE
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