Giardia intestinalis is a protozoan parasite, transmitted to humans and animals by the faecal–oral route, mainly through contaminated water and food. Knowledge about the distribution of this parasite in surface water in Poland is fragmentary and incomplete. Accordingly, 36 environmental water samples taken from surface water reservoirs and wells were collected in Pomerania and Warmia-Masuria provinces, Poland. The 50 L samples were filtered and subsequently analysed with three molecular detection methods: loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) and nested PCR. Of the samples examined, Giardia DNA was found in 15 (42%) samples with the use of LAMP; in 12 (33%) of these samples, Giardia DNA from this parasite was also detected using real-time PCR; and in 9 (25%) using nested PCR. Sequencing of selected positive samples confirmed that the PCR products were fragments of the Giardia intestinalis small subunit rRNA gene. Genotyping using multiplex real-time PCR indicated the presence of assemblages A and B, with the latter predominating. The results indicate that surface water in Poland, as well as water taken from surface wells, may be a source of Giardia strains which are potentially pathogenic for humans. It was also demonstrated that LAMP assay is more sensitive than the other two molecular assays.

You do not currently have access to this content.