Protozoan Diseases of the Lower Alimentary System

Protozoa are important causes of human intestinal disease. All the major protozoan motility groups are represented: Mastigo-phora, those with flagella; Ciliophora, those with cilia; Api-complexa, usually immobile; and Sarcodina, those that move by pseudopods. All are transmitted by the fecal-oral route. ■ protozoa, p. 304


Disease resulting from Giardia lamblia infection, called giardia-sis, is the most commonly identified waterborne illness in the United States. It can be contracted from clear mountain streams or chlorinated city water and can be transmitted by person-to-person contact. Giardiasis occurs worldwide and is responsible for many cases of traveler's diarrhea. In Americans, G. lamblia is the most commonly identified intestinal parasite, and in economically underdeveloped areas of the world, its incidence often exceeds 10%.

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