Background: Giardiasis, an intestinal protozoan infection caused by Giardia lamblia, is common in Turkey, especially among children aged between 2- and 14-years-old. Effects of giardiasis on serological levels of zinc, copper and iron elements were assessed in this study.
Methods: A total of 45 children, aged between 2- and 14-years-old, who were admitted to the Pediatrics Department of Celal Bayar University Medical School with gastrointestinal complaints and diagnosed as having giardiasis by stool examinations in the Parasitology Department, were enrolled as the study group (SG). The control group (CG) consisted of 45 age-matched healthy children. Serological levels of zinc, copper and iron were measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometer in all samples.
Results: As a result of the study, serum zinc levels were 67.43 ± 17.72 µg/dL and 145.20 ± 9.13 µg/dL, copper levels were 198.45 ± 39.14 µg/dL and 150 ± 21.14 µg/dL and iron levels were 87.98 ± 18.31 µg/dL and 160.45 ± 45.40 µg/dL, in SG and CG, respectively. When compared separately as SG and CG, there was a statistically significant difference between the serological levels of all these elements.
Conclusion: These results revealed that giardiasis increased the serological levels of copper, like other infectious agents. However, zinc and iron levels decreased during giardiasis due to malabsorption.