Giardia lamblia

Giardia lamblia is a protozoan parasite that causes giardiasis, a common intestinal infection. Notoriously resilient, it can survive in various environments, particularly in water, leading to outbreaks in communities with contaminated water sources....

Giardia lamblia

What is Giardia lamblia?

Giardia lamblia is a flagellated, microscopic parasite that infects the small intestine. It exists in two forms: the trophozoite, which is active inside the host, and the cyst, which is the infectious form that survives outside the host. Giardiasis, the disease caused by Giardia, can range from asymptomatic to severe gastrointestinal symptoms.

What are the causes of symptoms of Giardia lamblia?

  • Diarrhea, often watery or greasy
  • Gas or bloating
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration

How is Giardia lamblia transmitted?

Giardia lamblia is primarily transmitted through contaminated water. It can also spread through direct person-to-person contact, especially in settings like daycare centers, or through contaminated food. The cysts of Giardia are particularly hardy and can survive in cold water for long periods, leading to their spread in various aquatic environments.

How to prevent giardia lamblia?

  • Avoid drinking untreated water, especially from lakes, rivers, or pools.
  • Treat water by boiling or using proper filtration methods.
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water, particularly after using the toilet and before handling food.
  • Practice safe food handling and consumption, especially in areas where giardiasis is common.
  • Be cautious about water ingestion during swimming in natural water bodies.

Test(s) that measure/test for Giardia lamblia

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