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Parasites 

Parasites
Chapter:
Parasites
Author(s):

Simon M. Fox

, Angela M. Minassian

, Thomas Rawlinson

, and Brian J. Angus

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198789987.003.0012
Page of

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date: 18 October 2019

While all human parasitic infections can cause disease in the immunocompromised, those described in this chapter are of particular concern due to their prevalence and/or severity. With the exception of Strongyloides stercoralis and Sarcoptes scabei, all are protozoan. Protozoa (meaning ‘first life’) are unicellular eukaryotes that have been recently reclassified, along with certain algal and fungal groups, into the kingdom Protista. Protozoa are the motile protists and are further grouped, based on their method of locomotion, into amoebae, flagellates, ciliates, and sporozoans. Given the fragility of the immunocompromised state and potential for rapid deterioration, presumptive treatment covering the most likely pathogens is often started prior to confirmation of microbiological diagnosis.

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