Epidemiological Studies on Giardia Infection Associated with environmental Pollution

Giardia에 의한 환경오염(環境汚染)과 감염(感染)에 관한 역학적(疫學的) 연구(硏究)

  • Lee, Keun-Tae (Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University) ;
  • Kim, Seok-Chan (Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University) ;
  • Song, Jong-Sool (Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University) ;
  • Chung, Pyung-Rim (Department of Parasitology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University)
  • 이근태 (연세대학교 의과대학 기생충학교실) ;
  • 김석찬 (연세대학교 의과대학 기생충학교실) ;
  • 송종술 (연세대학교 의과대학 기생충학교실) ;
  • 정평림 (연세대학교 의과대학 기생충학교실)
  • Published : 1984.01.01


Giardia lamblia is a pathogenic flagellate causing intestinal disorders such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and malabsorption of nutrients. Giardia is mainly infected by the ingestion of contaminated foods per os. Craun (1979) has recently reported that mass infection of this flagellate through the contaminated water supply systems is one of public health hazards. Also, so-called traveller's diarrhea is sometimes caused by Giardia infection (CDC, U.S.A., 1971). However, a few epidemiological studies figuring out the mode of infection or control measures of Giardia infection has been done so far in Korea. The present study was aimed to know the prevalence of Giardia infection in several Korean populations, detectability of this flagellate in water systems and the viability of the cysts against sewages and disinfectants applying to drinking water. In the present study, 388 stool specimens from orphanage children in Chun-joo, Chung-joo, On-yang and Chun-an areas and 538 stool specimens from inhabitants in Woo-do, In-chon, and Chun-joo were examined by formalin-ether concentration technique to detect out Giardia cysts. On the other hand, water samples from 14 sites of Han River and its tributaries were collected in May through July, 1984. Fifty liter of water sample in each sampling site was then filtered through water filtering system deviced by U.S. Environmental Proutection Agency and the sediments rinsed out from the thread rolls, a part of water filtering system, were examined to detect out the Giardia cysts. In order to observe the viability of Giardia cysts in the sewage samples, the cysts were treated in it at $4^{\circ}C$ or $25^{\circ}C$ for 7 through 28 days. For this purpose, the cysts were also exposed to various concentrations of disinfectants such as chlorine, iodine and ozone gas for proper time intervals. After treatment, the viability test of the Giardia cysts were carried out by method of Rice and Schaefer (1981) with minor modification. The results obtained in this study were as follows : 1) The detection rates of G lamblia cysts in the stool specimens were 18.3% in orphans and 4.3% in general examinees. 2) The prevalences of Giardia Infection were higher in the young age groups than in-adults. The highest positive rate was 18.4% in the age group less than 10. 3) Of 14 water specimens sampled from Han River system and its tributaries around the Seoul area, the Giardia cysts were detected from 4 samples, and no cyst was found in the water supply systems. 4) The cysts treated in the sewage survived for 28 days at $4^{\circ}C$ and for 13 days at $25^{\circ}C$. 5) The cysts were completely destroyed within 60 minutes by exposure to 8 mg/l of residual chlorine at 4g and within 30 minutes by exposure to the same concentration of chlorine at $25^{\circ}C$. 6) The cysts were all dead when exposed to 1 mg/1 of iodine for 60 minutes at $4^{\circ}C$ or $25^{\circ}C$. 7) The cysts were destroyed after 10 minute exposure in 0.15 mg to 0.25mg of residual ozone gas per liter. Summarizing the above results, it is considered that Giardia infection is regarded as water-borne disease and the cysts are able to be controlled by the application with the disinfectants in the water supply systems.