Differences in the Prevalence of Giardia intestinalis as a Generalized Pruritus Etiologic Factor Between Geographic Regions in Turkey
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Objective: Giardia intestinalis is a protozoan parasite of the gastrointestinal tract that is widely distributed worldwide. Patients with G. intestinalis are usually asymptomatic; however, the presence of the parasite may lead to a variety of clinical manifestations, including skin lesions. Methods: In this study, 100 cases of generalized pruritus who were followed up in the dermatology outpatient clinics of Kars State Hospital and Bezmialem Vakif University between September 2013 and December 2013 were evaluated to retrospectively determine the incidence of G. intestinalis. Results: A total of 100 patients were analyzed in this study, and 38% of the patients in Kars were found to have the parasite. There were no cases of Giardia in Istanbul. There was a statistically significant difference in parasite prevalence between geographic regions (p<0.05). Overall, 37.9% of men and 38.0% of women tested positive for parasites. No significant difference was found in parasite prevalence by sex (p>0.05). The mean duration of generalized pruritus was 6.52±2.13 months. Conclusions: G. intestinalis is more common in the Eastern Anatolian region of Turkey than in other regions. Patients with generalized pruritus should be investigated for Giardia intestinalis infection, especially in this region.