Review Article

Antigen-Based Diagnosis of Human Giardiasis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis


Background: We aimed to present a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies that used antigen-based assays for the diagnosis of human giardiasis.

Methods: All the related published literature cited within PubMed, ISI web of science, Google Scholar, Embase, and Scopus, were searched up to December 2021. The search terms, both as MeSH terms and text words, were “Giardia”, “Giardia lamblia”, “Giardia intestinalis", "giardiasis", combined with "diagnosis", "antigen detection", serodiagnosis, or serological diagnosis.  The required data was extracted from the papers. Pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity were obtained and forest plots and summary receiver operating characteristics (SROC) plots were used to calculate sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV). 

Results: The search of databases found 1683 papers, of which 46 articles fulfilled our eligibility criteria. The sensitivity of antigen-based methods for the diagnosis of human giardiasis ranged from 45% (95% CI: 31-59%) to 100% (95% CI: 100-100%) and the pooled estimate of sensitivity was 92% (95% CI: 90-93%). The pooled estimated specificity was 97% (95% CI: 96-98%), ranged from 81% (95% CI: 68-89%) to 100% (95% CI: 98-100%). The summary estimate of PPV and NPV were 92 % (95% CI: 90-93%) and 97% (95% CI: 96-98%) respectively. Comparing the performance of the antigen detection assays by region revealed a significant difference in the assay's performances in different regions of the world.

Conclusion: The antigen-based detection methods have acceptable and satisfactory performance in the diagnosis of human giardiasis.  The task ahead is to identify more specific target antigens and design simpler, cheaper, and more sensitive methods for the diagnosis of this common worldwide-distributed parasitic infection.

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IssueVol 18 No 2 (2023) QRcode
SectionReview Article(s)
Giardiasis Diagnosis Antigen-based Meta-analysis

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Pouryousef A, Fararooei M, Sarkari B. Antigen-Based Diagnosis of Human Giardiasis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Iran J Parasitol. 2023;18(2):140-154.