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is a major cause of gastroenteritis globally, and is the most common food- and waterborne parasitic infection in Europe.


To describe the epidemiology of reported acute giardiasis cases in Germany and compare demographic and clinical characteristics between imported and autochthonous cases.


We conducted a descriptive analysis of giardiasis cases that fulfilled the national case definition and were reported between January 2002 and December 2021. We defined an imported case as having at least one place of exposure abroad in the 3–25 days before symptom onset. We analysed case numbers and incidence by age, sex, month reported and geographic region, both overall and stratified by autochthonous and imported cases.


From 2002 to 2021, 72,318 giardiasis cases were reported in Germany, corresponding to a mean annual incidence of 4.4 per 100,000 population. Annual incidence gradually decreased since 2013, declining sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020–21. Of 69,345 cases reported between 2002 and 2019, 35% were imported. Incidence of autochthonous cases (overall yearly mean: 3.1/100,000) was highest in males and young children (< 5 years); imported cases were predominantly adults aged 20–39 years. We identified seasonal patterns for imported and autochthonous cases.


Giardiasis in Germany is typically assumed to be imported. Our data, however, underline the importance of autochthonous giardiasis. Travel advice might reduce imported infections, but prevention strategies for autochthonous infections are less clear. Dietary, behavioural and environmental risk factors need to be further investigated to enhance infection prevention measures for autochthonous giardiasis.


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