parasitic%20infections
PARASITIC INFECTIONS
Gastrointestinal parasitic infection symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, dysentery, flatulence, malabsorption and symptoms of biliary obstruction.
It can be caused by protozoan parasites and helminths.
Host susceptibility factors in gastrointestinal parasitic infections are nutritional status, intercurrent disease, pregnancy, immunosuppressive drugs and presence of a malignancy.
Knowledge of the geographic distribution of parasites is helpful in the diagnosis of patients.

Diagnosis

  • Attempt to elicit a history of possible exposure, especially for helminthic infections, eg eating undercooked meat, source of drinking water, swimming in fresh water where certain parasites may be endemic
  • Knowledge of the geographic distribution of parasites is helpful in the diagnosis of patients

Physical Examination

  • Pallor
  • Hepatomegaly
  • Ascites
  • Ileus
  • Rectal prolapse

Laboratory Tests

Microscopic Exam of Stools

  • Fundamental to the diagnosis of all GI infections
    • A minimum of 3 stool specimens, examined by trained personnel using a concentration & a permanent stain technique, should be used
    • The stool exam is used to detect protozoan cysts & trophozoites, helminth ova, proglottids, larvae or adult worms
    • A fecal sample must be mixed well before examination because eggs are never uniformly distributed in feces

Other Laboratory Tests

  • The following are other tests that may be used to document a GI parasitic infection:
    • Duodenal aspirate
    • Biopsy
    • String capsule test
    • Immunofluorescent antibody test
    • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
    • Cellophane tape test
    • Barium studies
  • Anemia & eosinophilia may be seen on the complete blood count (CBC)
Digital Edition
Asia's trusted medical magazine for healthcare professionals. Get your MIMS Gastroenterology - Malaysia digital copy today!
Sign In To Download
Editor's Recommendations
Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 07 Aug 2018
A home-based, self-applied wearable electrocardiogram (ECG) patch facilitates diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (AF) among high-risk individuals, according to the mSToPS* trial.
Roshini Claire Anthony, 2 days ago

A genotype-guided approach to warfarin dosing may result in fewer dose adjustments in Asian patients, according to a study from Singapore.

5 days ago

Fungal microbiome, also called the mycobiome, appears to be highly variable in patients with well-characterized fungal diseases, a recent study has shown. Moreover, severe asthmatics have the highest fungal loads, along with those receiving steroid and antifungal therapy.

Tristan Manalac, 4 days ago
The risk of complicated appendicitis is lower in children with IgE-mediated allergy, according to a recent study.