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Gastrointestinal and Tract Infections

Often a result of ingesting contaminated food and beverage, although could be due to more serious infection. It is important to diagnose and treat appropriately to restore gastrointestinal health.

Gastrointestinal tract infections, Designs for Health

Most gastrointestinal tract infections are transmitted by food or beverage contaminated by faecal material and tend to exhibit similar life cycles consisting of a cyst stage and a trophozoite stage. The cyst wall functions to protect the organism from desiccation in the external environment as the parasite undergoes a relatively dormant period waiting to be ingested by the next host. There are many diverse protozoan groups which include Flagellates, Ameba, Apicomplexa and Microsporidia. The majority of these protozoa are non-pathogenic commensals, or only result in mild disease.

Numerous protozoa can inhabit the gastro-intestinal tract of humans. Most of these exhibit little or no overt pathology. Infection with these protozoa is evidence of fecal contamination and indicates a risk for more serious infections such as Giardia or E. histolytica. These non-pathogenic species can also be confused with the potentially pathogenic Giardia or E. histolytica and result in unnecessary drug treatment. In addition, such a misdiagnosis is also problematic in that the true cause of the symptoms may be missed and the appropriate treatment will be delayed.

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