Detection of Giardia duodenalis antigen in companion rabbits of Ahvaz district, South-West of Iran

Document Type : Research Articles


Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz


Giardia duodenalis is an important zoonotic protozoon, found in the small intestine of humans and mammals. There is very little information available regarding rabbits infected with Giardia in Iran. The objective of the present study is to detect Giardia duodenalis antigen in companion rabbits of the Ahvaz district, South-West of Iran. A total of 58 fecal samples of companion rabbits that had been collected during January 2011 to December 2014 were submitted to the parasitology laboratory of the Veterinary Faculty for Giardia duodenalis testing by two techniques: centrifugation-flotation and a commercial Giardia Antigen Test Kit (BVT Co., Ltd, Lion, France) by immunochromatography assay (ICA). The studied rabbits were categorized into two age groups (less than 1 year old and above or equal to 1 year old), four season. In addition, they were categorized into two other groups based on the stool sample status (diarrheic and non-diarrheic). Five out of fifty eight fecal samples (8.62%) were positive for antigen of Giardia duodenalis by ICA. Prevalence was
significantly higher in diarrheic rabbits (45.45%; 5 out of 11) than non-diarrheic rabbits (0%; 0 out of 47) (P=0.002). The infection had more prevalence in rabbits older than 1 year (9.09%; 3 out of 33) compared with young rabbits that were less than 1 year old (8%; 2 out of 25). Nevertheless, the difference was not significant. Prevalence was higher in male rabbits (9.52%; 2 out of 21) compared with female rabbits (8.11%; 3 out of 37) and in the season of autumn (15.38%; 2 out of 13), but without a significant difference between the prevalence of infection relative to host gender and season. Microscopy examination on fecal samples showed that 5.17% (3 out of 58) were positive. For greater certainty, three stool samples were collected from each animal at 48 hour intervals. The results indicated that the Giardia antigen was present as a zoonotic disease in rabbits of the Ahvaz district. The obtained data showed that more sensitive techniques such as ICA may be necessary and yield more reliable results in the detection of low levels of Giardia in fecal samples.


Main Subjects

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