- Giardia lamblia
or G. intestinalisSingle-celled protozoan parasite.Pear-or beet-shaped, the cells have two nuclei and eight flagella and attach with a sucking organ to human intestinal mucous membranes. They cause the disease giardiasis. Generally spread when traces of human feces containing the parasite are ingested, giardiasis is most common among children in close contact with other children, but it also occurs among adults. Diarrhea, pain, and distension of the stomach may occur. It is common wherever there is contamination of domestic or surface water in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs, and it is a major cause of diarrhea worldwide. Beaver feces are often responsible for giardiasis among campers who take water from lakes and rivers.
* * *▪ parasitealso called G. intestinalissingle-celled parasite of the order Diplomonadida. Like those of other diplomonads (diplomonad), the cells of G. lamblia have two nuclei and eight flagella. The parasite attaches to human intestinal mucosa (mucous membrane) with a sucking organ, causing the diahrreal condition known as giardiasis. Acute giardiasis is a common disease among hikers, campers, and travelers to undeveloped countries who drink untreated water, and it is also quite common among children in day-care centres and people who use crowded public swimming areas. The clinical symptoms include large, foul-smelling, fatty stools, stomach cramps, and bloating. The parasite is passed directly from the stools of infected people or animals to persons who ingest infected water, food, or other material. Symptoms appear after a 10-day incubation period and may persist for weeks. The disease is generally mild and self-limiting, though infected children can develop chronic malabsorption of nutrients from the intestines. It is treated with antimicrobial drugs and with fluids to prevent dehydration.
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