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.

Parasitic%20infections Diagnosis

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
3 days ago
Chest pain appears to be the principal complaint of patients hospitalized with a first myocardial infarction (MI), particularly among those in the youngest age group, a study has found.
Jairia Dela Cruz, 16 Sep 2020
In patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) receiving angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, high dosing confers benefits for the risk of death or hospitalization that are similar to that obtained with lower dosing, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Pearl Toh, 3 days ago
Early and sustained treatments with simplified regimen are the key to achieving good asthma control, said experts during a presentation at the ERS 2020 Congress.
4 days ago
Women with pre-eclampsia are at higher risk of developing heart failure, a study suggests.