Giardia intestinalis

Diagnosis of G. intestinalis infection is made by detecting cysts or, less frequently, trophozoites in the stool. As cyst excretion is often irregular and of low density, formol ethyl acetate concentration of three stool specimens collected every other day is preferable. Although trophozoites are not concentrated they may be present and identifiable. Nevertheless, direct microscopy of unfixed material or trichrome staining of SAF-fixed stool is more reliable for detecting trophozoites. Trophozoites may also be detected in faecal specimens by staining thin smears of material by Giemsa stain. Duodenal aspirates have been used to detect trophozoites. The sensitivity is lower than stool microscopy but useful as a complement to the latter (Goka et al. 1990).

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