what is giardiasis
Giardiasis parasite or Giardia is a parasite which causes infection known as giardiasis infection which is an infection seen by signs like diarrhea, cramps in the abdomen, and bloating and is one of the most common disease in the world. Giardia is also known by other biological terms as giardia intestinal, Giardia lamblia or Duodenalis and is mainly seen on soil food and water than has been contaminated with feces from human beings who are infected and even infected animals
Giardiasis parasite is microscopic in nature and has an outer shell which protects it and allows it to survive outside there for longer periods. Giardiasis parasite causes giardia infections and mainly attacks the intestines of human beings and animals like cats, dogs but usually clear up within three weeks, these are the main pathway of this infection transmission several drugs as prescribed by the medical doctors are have proved effective.
IT’S LIFE CYCLE
The life cycle of the Giardiasis parasite has two forms, the trophozoites and the cyst that undergoes through the life cycle as shown below;
- Cyst stage: The life cycle of Giardiasis parasite starts when the cyst is being excreted with the feces of an infected person or animal, this is known as the cyst stage and can survive well in variety of conditions that is environmental and acidity of the stomach, this allows the parasite to pass through the intestines hence causing intestinal illness.
- The small intestines, in this stage now the cysts are infected and each produces or hatches trophozoites. This is a quick process and occurs within 30 minutes after ingestion process.
- The trophozoites produced are then multiplied by a process known as longitudinal binary fusion where it goes through asexual replication. The trophozoites are also the feeding stage since they are active in this stage.
The non-affected cysts and affected trophozoites now pass through the digestive system inform of feces, but only cysts are capable of staying outside of the infected person.
HOW IT CAN AFFECT HUMANS AND ANIMALS
Giardia actually infects humans and this infection is due to ingestion of cysts in contaminated water or food, once ingested, it can then survive for weeks in the intestines hence causing Giardia infection seen by cramps in the abdomen, nausea and diarrhea. It is not a fatal infection but causes few complications including dehydration, failure to thrive, and lactose intolerance. Giardiasis can also lead to weight loss and lactose intolerance in some affected persons, Children below five years are at a risk of malnutrition which can interfere development both physically and mentally.
It is one of the most parasites affecting animals like cats, dogs, goats, sheep and many other mammals. These parasites can be non-responsive to antibiotics, dogs have the highest infection rate so extra care must be taken by providing clean and safe water to these animals. The best method in controlling this parasite is prevention practices like maintaining clean water supply and quarantine of these infected animals for a period of 20 days of monitoring
The common symptoms include:
Loss of appetite
Cramps in the abdomen
Too much pain in the stomach
Greasy stool that can float
However, some people can carry the parasite without experiencing any symptoms or signs
Consult your Doctor as soon as possible when infection is prolonged but in several infection cases giardiasis always clears on its own and most doctors always recommend drugs such as antiphrastic drugs to treat this infection
Antibiotics that are commonly in use also include the following
- Nitazoxanide which is a popular option to treat with children because it’s in liquid form.
- Metronidazole is another common antibiotic for the infection treatment but has side effects like nausea and metal like taste in the mouth. It is also called Flagyl.
- Tinidazole is as effective as metronidazole and often works with only one dose.
- Paromycin is another effective antibiotic though it is always not good for pregnant women to swallow as it may affect the unborn baby. It is always recommended it be taken after birth of a child.
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