Objective: Giardia intestinalis is the causes of giardiasis, which infects human fecally-orally. This leads to growth retardation in children, leading to malabsorption, which is widespread in Turkey, especially in the regions having low socio-economic status. In this study we aimed to compare results of Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and direct microscopic stool examination for detecting giardiasis.
Methods: The feces samples of 761 children aged between 0 and 16 years who applied to Ondokuz Mayıs University Hospital with diarrhea were evaluated by using ELISA test and direct microscopic examination.
Results: The study comprised 356 (46.7%) boys and 405 (53, 3%) girls. Both direct microscopy and ELISA gave positive results for giardiasis in 17 (2.2%) children. In 13 (17%) of the children ELISA was found positive but direct microscopy did not show Giardia intestinalis at stool samples. Both ELISA and direct microscopy of the remaining 731 (96.1%) of the patients gave negative results for giardiasis.
Conclusion: Direct microscopic examination methods are often preferred because they are more cost-effective, and some other parasites can be found by examination of feces. Yet, in cases in which children have giardiasis symptoms but parasites cannot be determined by microscopic examination to search for G. intestinalis antigen by means of ELISA can be used as an alternative method.