Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Clonal diversity of the glutamate dehydrogenase gene in Giardia duodenalis from Thai Isolates: evidence of genetic exchange or Mixed Infections?

Suradej Siripattanapipong1, Saovanee Leelayoova2, Mathirut Mungthin2, RC Andrew Thompson3, Parima Boontanom2, Wilai Saksirisampant4 and Peerapan Tan-ariya1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Rama VI Rd., Bangkok, 10400, Thailand

2 Department of Parasitology, Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, Rajawithi Rd., Bangkok, 10400, Thailand

3 WHO Collaborating Centre for the Molecular Epidemiology of Parasitic Infections, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch, Western Australia, 6150, Australia

4 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Rama IV Rd., Bangkok, 10330, Thailand

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BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:206  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-206

Published: 20 September 2011



The glutamate dehydrogenase gene (gdh) is one of the most popular and useful genetic markers for the genotypic analysis of Giardia duodenalis (syn. G. lamblia, G. intestinalis), the protozoan that widely causes enteric disease in humans. To determine the distribution of genotypes of G. duodenalis in Thai populations and to investigate the extent of sequence variation at this locus, 42 fecal samples were collected from 3 regions of Thailand i.e., Central, Northern, and Eastern regions. All specimens were analyzed using PCR-based genotyping and recombinant subcloning methods.


The results showed that the prevalence of assemblages A and B among these populations was approximately equal, 20 (47.6%) and 22 (52.4%), respectively. Sequence analysis revealed that the nucleotide diversity of assemblage B was significantly greater than that in assemblage A. Among all assemblage B positive specimens, the allelic sequence divergence within isolates was detected. Nine isolates showed mixed alleles, ranged from three to nine distinct alleles per isolate. Statistical analysis demonstrated the occurrence of genetic recombination within subassemblages BIII and BIV was likely.


This study supports increasing evidence that G. duodenalis has the potential for genetic exchange.

Giardia duodenalis; glutamate dehydrogenase; genetic diversity; genetic exchange