Intestinal Parasites

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Chapter: Pharmaceutical Microbiology : Protozoa

Gut protozoan parasites include Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Dientamoeba fragilis, Balantidium sp., Isospora sp. and Cryptosporidium parvum. All these organisms are transmitted by the faecal–oral route and most of them are cosmopolitan in their distribution.


INTESTINAL PARASITES

 

Gut protozoan parasites include Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, Dientamoeba fragilis, Balantidium sp., Isospora sp. and Cryptosporidium parvum. All these organisms are transmitted by the faecal–oral route and most of them are cosmopolitan in their distribution. A good example of this is Giardia , which is found in nearly all countries of the world. In many developed countries, including the UK and USA, it is one of the most commonly identified waterborne infectious organisms. Cryptosporidium, like Toxoplasma, has a complex life cycle utilizing both sexual and asexual reproduction. In contrast, Giardia and Entamoeba have simple life cycles utilizing only asexual reproduction. These latter organisms are members of a small group of eukaryotes that do not have mitochondria. It had long been assumed that they never had mitochondria, but recent studies showing the presence of mitochondrial like enzymes and structural proteins suggest that it is more likely that this organelle was lost as a result of metabolic/physiological adaptation.

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