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Giardiasis and balantidiasis 

Giardiasis and balantidiasis
Chapter:
Giardiasis and balantidiasis
Author(s):

Lars Eckmann

, and Martin F. Heyworth

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0167
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date: 07 March 2021

Infection with Giardia intestinalis, a common flagellate protozoan that colonizes the lumen of the small intestine, is acquired by ingesting environmentally resistant cysts of the parasite, typically in water or food, or after contact with faecal material from infected individuals. Strains of the parasite that can potentially infect humans are also harboured by various mammals, including dogs and cattle. Manifestations include watery diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, distension and pain, nausea and vomiting, weight loss, and malabsorption, with the infection typically being persistent and severe in individuals with certain immunodeficiencies. Chronic G. intestinalis infection can lead to micronutrient deficiencies, and impairment of growth and cognitive development in children.

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