Immunological aspects of Giardia infections

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Abstract

Immunodeficiency, particularly antibody deficiency, predisposes to increased intensity and persistence of Giardia infections. Giardia-infected immunocompetent hosts produce serum and intestinal antibodies against Giardia trophozoites. The number of Giardia muris trophozoites, in mice with G. muris infection, is reduced by intra-duodenal administration of anti-G. muris antibody. Giardia intestinalis antigens that are recognised by human anti-trophozoite antibodies include variable (variant-specific) and invariant proteins. Nitric oxide (NO) appears to contribute to host clearance of Giardia trophozoites. Arginine is a precursor of NO and is metabolised by Giardia trophozoites, possibly reducing its availability for generation of NO by the host. Work with mice suggests that T lymphocytes and interleukin-6 (IL-6) contribute to clearance of Giardia infection via mechanisms independent of antibodies.

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Heyworth, M. F. (2014). Immunological aspects of Giardia infections. Parasite, 21. https://doi.org/10.1051/parasite/2014056

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