Giardia

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Giardiasis is a relatively common cause of diarrhoea in the returned traveller. The usual source for this parasite is contaminated fresh water.

Contents

Aetiology

Giardia lamblia, a protozoon.

Clinical

Common symptoms include:

Investigations

Diagnosis is based on the confirmation of Giardia lamblia cysts in the stool, seen under spun stool sample microscopy.

Photomicrograph of duodenal biopsy showing Giardia organisms on the mucosal surface.

Occasionally, the diagnosis may be made histologically as the combination of symptoms may lead to an upper GI endoscopy.

Treatment

Medical

Metronidazole is the recommended treatment for this disease if symptomatic. Treatment regimes differ, however 2g daily for 3 days in divided doses appears to be quite effective. Tinidazole in a dose of 2g stat PO appears to be the treatment with the best evidence [1]

Prevention

Post exposure prophylaxis

Notification

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References

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