Celiac Disease Diagnosis in Patients with Giardiasis: High Value of Antitransglutaminase Antibodies

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The main objective of this study is to assess the presence of celiac disease (CD) in patients with giardiasis and to evaluate the tools for diagnosis of CD in these patients.


A total of 40 patients with giardiasis were evaluated. Celiac disease was confirmed or discarded by intestinal biopsy and serological markers. Antigliadin antibodies were determined by ELISA and antitransglutaminase antibodies by one-step immunochromatographic assay and ELISA.


Out of the 40 patients with giardiasis 37 showed normal intestinal mucosa. In this group, IgA antibodies to gliadin were positive in 7 patients, yielding a specificity of 82%. All of them were negative for transglutaminase antibodies by the immunochromatographic assay and by ELISA (specificity of 100%). The remaining 3 patients showed a subtotal intestinal villous atrophy consistent with CD, however, only two presented IgA antibodies to transglutaminase and gliadin.


Due to its low specificity antigliadin antibodies are not useful for the screening of CD in patients with giardiasis. On the other hand, antitransglutaminase antibodies are highly specific and sensitive. One-step immunochromatographic assay is an easy and economic alternative. The findings of villous atrophy must be supported by other markers of CD to achieve the diagnosis of CD in these patients.

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