Master's Project Title:

Giardia in international adoptees coming to the United States

MCH Student:

Rebecca Kruc

Date of Defense:

June 2, 2015


Giardia is one of the most common intestinal pathogens  identified in international adoptees  coming to the United States, and it can be spread from adoptees to their contacts after  adoption. It is important to better understand the epidemiology of Giardia infections in this  population. This pilot study reviewed data from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014  from the Minnesota Department of Health’s giardiasis surveillance, to characterize giardiasis in  international adoptees coming to Minnesota. These cases were compared to giardiasis cases  acquired domesti cally during the same time period in children of comparable ages. There were  52 international adoptee cases and 100 comparison cases. During FY 2014, 12% of the  international adoptees coming to Minnesota tested positive for Giardia. Adoptees were  significa ntly less likely than comparison cases to report cramps, appetite loss, and weight loss;  the two groups did not differ significantly in the percent reporting diarrhea, fever, or vomiting.  The median length of time from the arrival date to the specimen coll ection date for the adoptees  was 27 days (range 2 to 191 days). The median length of time from symptom onset to specimen  collection date for the comparison cases was 15 days (range 0 to 2487 days). Ninety – eight  percent of the adoptees and 93% of the compar ison cases were treated for their Giardia infection.  One transmitted case of giardiasis was identified in an adoptee’s family member. In the future, it  will be important to continue improving resources about Giardia for families and healthcare  providers of international adoptees.