Giardia lamblia

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Gi·ar·di·a in·tes·ti·na·lis

a flattened, heart-shaped motile flagellated organism (10-20 mcm in length) with eight flagella; it attaches itself to the intestinal mucosa by means of a pair of sucking organs; in humans it is usually asymptomatic except in cases of heavy infection, when it may interfere with absorption of fats and produce flatulence, steatorrhea, bloating, and acute discomfort; it is the common species of Giardia in humans but is also found in pigs, dogs, cats and other mammals. In dogs and cats, it is commonly associated with bloating, flatulence, tenesmus, weight loss, and malodorous mucoid or bloody soft frothy voluminous stools; can have severe clinical course in young, sick or immunocompromised hosts. Chronic infestations may lead to debilitation. May be asymptomatic.
Synonym(s): Giardia lamblia

Giardia lamblia

A species of Giardia found in humans, transmitted by ingestion of cysts in fecally contaminated water or food. In current usage, the preferred name for G. lamblia is now G. duodenalis. These organisms are found worldwide. The most common symptoms of G. duodenalis infection are diarrhea, fever, cramps, anorexia, nausea, weakness, weight loss, abdominal distention, flatulence, greasy stools, belching, and vomiting. Onset of symptoms begins about 2 weeks after exposure; the disease may persist for up to 2 to 3 months.

There is no effective chemoprophylaxis for this disease. Metronidazole, quinacrine, or tinidazole are preferred treatments. See: water, emergency preparation of safe drinking


Cysts or trophozoites can be identified in feces. Three consecutive negative tests are required before the feces are considered to be negative. Duodenal contents also can be examined by aspiration or string test, in which an ordinary string is swallowed and allowed to remain in the duodenum long enough for the protozoa to attach. On removal, it is examined for the presence of cysts or trophozoites. A stool antigen assay test detects Giardia. This involves either immunofluorescence or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

See also: Giardia

Giardia lamblia

A type of protozoa with a whiplike tail that infects the human intestinal tract, causing giardiasis. The protozoa will not spread to other parts of the body.
Mentioned in: Giardiasis


Alfred, French biologist, 1846-1908.
Giardia lamblia - protozoa which causes diarrhea and abdominal discomfort.
giardiasis - infection with Giardia.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ascaris lumbricoidesand Giardia lamblia were found to be the common etiologic agents of intestinal parasitic diseases among the study population.
Sequential changes of lamina propria immunoglobulin containing cells in immune intact and immunessuppressed mice infected with Giardia lamblia.
En cuanto a la parasitosis, se encontraron Giardia lamblia y Blastocystis hominis, ambas en igual proporcion.
Ofomata, "The prevalence of giardia lamblia in children presenting with diarrhoea at secondary health facility in Awka, South-East Nigeria," European Journal of Scientific Research, vol.
Para la zona central colombiana, que incluye el departamento del Quindio, en 1980 se reporto una prevalencia de Giardia lamblia del 13,3% y en el ano 2000 en ninos de asentamientos temporales postterremoto se encontro 60,4%, pero se desconoce la frecuencia actual de parasitismo intestinal en la poblacion de ninos de guarderias por fuera de estos asentamientos temporales, y su relacion con el estado nutricional (Lora-Suarez et al.
Use of an enzyme immunoassay does not eliminate the need to analyze multiple stool specimens for sensitive detection of Giardia lamblia.
Duodenal biopsy is another method of detecting Giardia lamblia trophozoites.
Conclusion: Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica/dispar were found to be the common aetiologic agents of intestinal parasitic diseases among the study population.
New insights regarding the biology of Giardia lamblia.
People exposed to the protozoan Giardia lamblia are at increased risk of having irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue years after their gastrointestinal infections have been treated, a team of Norwegian researchers has found.
8% of the infected samples followed by Giardia lamblia which accounted for 21.