Luis Sorell and colleagues carried out their study of 40 patients to assess the presence of celiac disease in patients with giardiasis and also to evaluate the tools for diagnosis of celiac disease in such patients.
They evaluated the 40 patients (all with giardiasis) for the presence of celiac disease using intestinal biopsy and serological markers.
Using ELISA techniques they determined levels of anti-gliadin antibodies, while one step immunochromatographic assay and ELISA were using to identify anti-transglutaminase antibodies.
A total of 37 of the 40 patients showed normal intestinal mucosa. 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%).
In the remaining 3 patients who did not have normal intestinal mucosa, there was subtotal intestinal atrophy consistent with celiac disease.
Only 2 of the 3 patients however, presented IgA antibodies to transglutaminase and gliadin.
Due to its low specificity, the researchers conclude that anti-gliadin antibodies are not useful for the screening of celiac disease in patients with giardiasis.
They add however, that anti-transglutaminase antibodies are highly specific and sensitive, and that one-step immunochromatographic assay is an easy and economic alternative.
The findings of villous atrophy, they say, must be supported by other markers of celiac disease, to achieve the diagnosis of celiac disease in these patients.