Giardiasis is a widespread infection, affecting from 5 to 15% of the adult population of different countries and about 40% of children. The disease occurs because of the penetration into the body of pathogenic microorganisms called lamblia. What is lamblia, how they get into the body, what is their danger, read on.
- How to look on the photo
- Life cycle
- How does the infection occur?
- Symptomatology of the disease
- How to find lamblia
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How to look on the photo
Lamblias are microscopic parasites that live in the intestine in humans, birds and animals. Relate to the class flagellum. They have a special disk, due to which they are sucked to the wall of the small intestine. This allows lamblia to eat already digested food, getting all the necessary substances. They do not need oxygen for existence and reproduction. Their size is so insignificant that it is impossible to discern them in the stool with the naked eye. Lamblias are capable of parasitizing in the form of cysts and trophozoites.
Trophozoites are unicellular structures of pear-shaped form with a disk for suction. They live in the small intestine and multiply by dividing every 12 hours. Unlike them, cysts are immovable. They are oval in shape, smaller in width and length. Localized in the large intestine, can exist in an external environment with full preservation of vitality.
Important! Giardia is often confused with worms. However, the damage caused to the body by worms is more significant than from lamblia. In addition, the latter can live not only in the intestines, but also in the liver.
Lamblias reproduce in the small intestine, being in a vegetative (trophozoic) form. But for getting into the environment are responsible cysts of parasites, which are formed in the large intestine. In this way lamblia spread and infection occurs.
Cysts are resistant to the action of various factors, able to stay in the environment for more than 60 days (in a wet place). So, they can live at least 4 months in the sewage system during the warm season. In tap water, cysts exist 2-3 months. It is important to know that even disinfection of water with chlorine does not do them any harm.
How does the infection occur?
Infection occurs when ingested cysts. When they enter the stomach, their protective membrane disappears, trophozoite appears from the cyst. For the development of giardiasis, it is enough for a person to have about 10 cysts in the body. Most often they are transmitted by contact-household way. Main sources of infection:
- an invasive person;
- infected animals or birds (for a person their parasites are not dangerous);
- insects - mechanical carriers of soil particles (cockroaches, flies, etc.);
- contaminated water;
- objects of common use;
- The soil with lamblias settled down.
In children, the susceptibility to infection is three times higher than that of adults. They are most vulnerable to infection. In addition, the child usually suffers from giardiasis heavier than adults. In addition to children, people with biliary dysfunction, gastric and intestinal diseases, dystrophy or hypotrophy are predisposed to the disease.
Many are interested in whether this disease is contagious, how easy it is to catch lamblia in the external environment. Their spreading occurs very quickly in case of contact with an infected object. Especially active reproduction of lamblia cysts is observed in the warm season - in spring and in summer. At the same time, the number of cases of lambliasis is increasing.
Important! Dirty fruit and vegetables are especially often a source of contamination. Infection can be prevented if the standards of handling products and the rules of personal hygiene are observed.
Symptomatology of the disease
Infection with lamblia is not always clearly manifested. It happens that patients discover the disease by accident, for example, after the delivery of tests. This is what they are dangerous for. In time the untreated disease passes into a chronic form, worries the person with frequent relapses. Usually signs of lambiosis appear 1-2 weeks after infection.
- Diarrhea. A characteristic feature of the stool is the absence of mucus and blood in the feces.
- Abdominal pain. Most often manifested in the upper part with varying intensity.
- Gastritis, characteristic for the action of the intestinal ljamblii.
- Weakness and fatigue.
- Headaches, dizziness.
- Allergic manifestations in the form of itching, rashes on the skin and conjunctivitis.
This course of the disease is due to intoxication of the body, the immune system response to parasites. In addition, Giardia degrade digestion, the patient loses the nutrients coming with food. Allergic reactions often accompany infection and parasitosis. Symptoms bother the patient for 2-3 weeks, and then subside. The disease either becomes chronic, or a spontaneous cure occurs.
How to find lamblia
To establish an accurate diagnosis, you need to pass such tests:
- The most common study is coprological research. To hand in feces for analysis is recommended at least three times for accurate confirmation of the diagnosis. This is due to the fact that cysts are not always present in the feces, their release occurs cyclically. This method is accessible, but not always accurate and informative.
- A more reliable method is duodenal biopsy. It allows not only to check the intestines for the presence of parasites, but also to see changes in its tissue structure. But the method is rarely used because of soreness, the risk of complications and high cost of the procedure.
- A modern diagnostic method is an enterotest. The patient swallows a special dissolving capsule, which then accumulates active lamblia on the thread. Diagnosis is performed after removal of the filament along with feces.
- Study of feces for antigens - allows you to conduct an analysis with a small amount of stool, stored for more than 2 days. Informative in the definition of parasites.
- Indirect method of diagnosis - an analysis of antibodies to lamblia. The analysis involves taking blood from the veins on an empty stomach.
To establish the diagnosis, doctors recommend doing several tests at lamblia. An integrated approach to detecting parasites will give a complete picture of the disease and exclude the possibility of a diagnostic error. The tactics of treating Giardiasis depends on the severity of the symptoms. Explain how to treat them, prescribe drugs and monitor the process should only the doctor.