Giardia - Systematics


About 40 species have been described from different animals, but many of them are probably synonyms. Currently, five to six morphologically distinct species are recognised. Giardia lamblia (=G. intestinalis, =G. duodenalis) infect humans and other mammals, G. muris is found from other mammals, G. ardeae and G. psittaci from birds, G. agilis from amphibians and G. microti from voles. Other described, (but not certainly valid) species include:

  • Giardia beckeri
  • Giardia beltrani
  • Giardia botauri
  • Giardia bovis
  • Giardia bradypi
  • Giardia canis
  • Giardia caprae
  • Giardia cati
  • Giardia caviae
  • Giardia chinchillae
  • Giardia dasi
  • Giardia equii
  • Giardia floridae
  • Giardia hegneri
  • Giardia herodiadis
  • Giardia hyderabadensis
  • Giardia irarae
  • Giardia marginalis
  • Giardia melospizae
  • Giardia nycticori
  • Giardia ondatrae
  • Giardia otomyis
  • Giardia pitymysi
  • Giardia pseudoardeae
  • Giardia recurvirostrae
  • Giardia sanguinis
  • Giardia serpentis
  • Giardia simoni
  • Giardia sturnellae
  • Giardia suricatae
  • Giardia tucani
  • Giardia varani
  • Giardia viscaciae
  • Giardia wenyoni

Genetic and biochemical studies have revealed the heterogeneity of Giardia lamblia, which contains probably at least eight lineages or cryptic species.

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