Giardiasis, Symptoms and Treatment

Health kphoenix August 8, 2016 0 0
Giardiasis is a disease that is caused by the parasite Giardia intestinalis. This parasite is recognized worldwide but make especially in the subtropics to many infections. In Europe, this parasite is mainly transmitted by dogs and other mammals. also human-to-human infections occur. About 5 to 8 percent of the Dutch and Belgian population is infected. When only a few people report symptoms. This is also depending on it's own immune system. Severe diarrhea and abdominal cramps are often seen. Treatment is then necessary.

Giardia intestinalis, parasite

The parasite Giardia intestinalis is also known as Giardia lamblia or lamblia intestinalis. This parasite is single-celled. This means that it consists of only one cell and contains no head or legs. Bacteria and algae are an example of single cells. It was Antonie van Leeuwenhoek first discovered the parasite. Antoni made himself a microscope and discovered the single-celled parasite below. This was in the year 1681. Years earlier, he discovered other single-celled organisms under his microscope.

Where do we find this parasite?

In humans, the parasite is mainly in the small intestine for, and sometimes in the gall bladder. It is especially the subtropical area where contamination occurs. These are cysts that invade the body. This is the living stage of the parasite such as that takes place outside of the host. Often are cysts in the water over there have fallen through the feces of an infected animal or human. A cyst can survive very long. In the stomach, the duodenal cysts will reach the intestines. Meanwhile emerge from the cysts of parasites which provide themselves with food.
In the small intestine, they will attach themselves by means of a kind of suction cup in the mucosa of the intestinal wall. The reproduction takes place asexually. The parasite simply divides into two. Outside the body of the host, the parasite can not survive for long. Portions of the parasites will turn into cysts. These leave the body of the host via the feces and often end up in the water. In this way again there may be a new infection.

Man and dog

The parasite is found in many mammals, but to a lesser extent in man. It also depends on the area where the person lives, because the parasite common in subtropical disease. In the dog, the parasite also in Western Europe for many. On average, 15 percent of all infected dogs. In kennels are often much more dogs contaminated because of the risk of cross-contamination is greater. Dogs that are imported from abroad are often carriers of this parasite. The parasite is also infectious for humans.


The cysts that come out with the feces are present in large numbers. On average there are one million cysts present per 10 gram feces. More than 5 cysts are sufficient to infect humans. The parasite causes giardiasis for the disease. Healthy people will generally be less likely to get sick than young children, the elderly and those with underlying illness or whose immune system is not working properly. Often keep the symptoms about two weeks, then disappear and may return later.
Giardiasis in dogs is indicated by prolonged diarrhea. It is mainly the puppies that exhibit this symptom. Healthy and strong dogs will be less likely to suffer from diarrhea, or periods.
In humans, the symptoms are not as apparent at all. This depends on the degree of contamination and the duration. Many people complain about a light-colored stools which is fat, sticky and often stinks. Often there are cramps present. Flatulence is also seen a lot. It is difficult to recognize giardiasis, because there is often thought of about irritable bowel syndrome or any other infection. When to go about 10 percent of people with prolonged diarrhea turns out to giardiasis. Often comes later for nausea with vomiting, or suffer from heartburn. As a result, there is little or eaten, there remains little food inside.
Also, there will be little food through the intestines recognized as a result of the presence of the parasites. For example, the absorption of vitamins A and D will be made more difficult from food. The absorption of iron and fat will be more difficult as well. This creates a particularly oily loose stools. In all the aforementioned cases, there will usually emaciation and malnutrition occur. For young or infirm persons can have quick results. About 5 to 8 percent of the Dutch population is found to be infected, while it is much higher in other countries.

Treatment and recovery

Infection with the parasite Giardia intestinalis is not always noticed because strong, healthy people show no symptoms. They take care of infection to others. It is especially the sick and infirm who need treatment because their health status can go rapidly. Contamination is to show through microscopic examination combined with Enzyme-Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay.
Treatment takes place by means of antibiotics. This is often enough to kill the parasite. There has to be often be looked at the surroundings. Because the risk of infection is high, they can also partner or children have become infected. Particularly in schools and nurseries a mutual infection is often seen. Therefore it could be that several children at the same time get sick and need treatment.