Giardiasis symptoms vary from asymptomatic passage of cysts to acute self-limiting diarrhoea or chronic diarrhoea. Association with growth restriction in children has been well described.
Diagnosis is by detection of cysts or trophozoites in a stool sample.
Tinidazole or metronidazole is recommended as first-line treatment.
Transmission is via the faecal-oral route. Personal hygiene is key to prevention.
Giardiasis is an enteric infection caused by a eukaryotic, flagellated, binucleated protozoan parasite called Giardia lamblia. First described in 1681, it is a major cause of diarrhoeal disease in human beings and other mammals. Children and immunocompromised hosts may present with weight loss and failure to thrive due to malabsorption.
History and exam
Luther A. Bartelt, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
LAB declares that he has no competing interests. LAB is the author of two articles cited in this topic.
Dr Luther Bartelt would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Fida Khan and Dr Musaddiq Waheed, previous contributors to this topic.
FK and MW declared that they had no competing interests.
Zana Nikolla, MD
Faculty of Medicine
University of Tirana
ZN declares that she has no competing interests.
Rodney Adam, MD
Professor of Medicine and Immunobiology
University of Arizona
RA declares that he has no competing interests.
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