Similarities Among The Intestinal Sporeforming Protozoa

History

Clinical manifestations

Identified as human pathogens in recent decades

Asymptomatic infection

Once considered rare pathogens; now known to commonly cause infections

Self-limited diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal discomfort in healthy children and adults

The AIDS epidemic increased awareness and recognition

Prolonged (subacute) diarrhea in some immunocompetent patients*

Biology

Chronic diarrhea in immunodeficient patients

Protozoa

Diagnosis

Intracellular location in epithelial cells of the intestine

Microscopic stool examination should be initial approach

Spore or oocyst form is shed in stool

Detection of cysts or spores in stool requires expertise and proper stains

Pathogenesis of diarrhea

Antibiotic treatment

Unknown; possible abnormalities of absorption, secretion, and motility

Not usually indicated in healthy persons with acute infection

Intense infection of small bowel associated with dense inflammatory infiltrate

Indicated for chronic infection in immunodeficient patients*

May be associated with villus blunting and crypt hyperplasia

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