Giardia as a zoonosis (or not)

Omar O. Barriga barriga.2 at osu.edu
Mon Sep 1 19:51:43 EST 1997


In article <19970830035501.XAA26884 at ladder02.news.aol.com> patalliro at aol.com (Patalliro) writes:
In article <19970830035501.XAA26884 at ladder02.news.aol.com> patalliro at aol.com (Patalliro) writes:
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>From: patalliro at aol.com (Patalliro)
>Newsgroups: bionet.parasitology
>Subject: Re: Giardia as a zoonosis (or not)
>Date: 30 Aug 1997 03:55:01 GMT
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> my doctor just
>told me that I probably have an infection from Giardia. 
> could
>someone please tell me what Giardia is in taxonomy?  
> I didn't drink
>water from any unusual sources, so I'm wondering how I could have gotten
>it. 
>  If it is Giardia, what species
>could it be? 
> My doctor prescribed Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol)
>instead of antibiotics because I'm still nursing my child. 

Girdia intestinalis (formerly G. lamblia) is a unicellular animal 
(protozoa) that belongs to the group of the flagellates.  
It lives in the intestine of humans and other mammals (beavers, muskrats, 
domestic carnivores, even farm animals) although the source of infection for 
humans is commonly another infected human.
The most common form of transmission is probably through water contaminated 
with feces of an infected human (occasionally, of an infected animal). 
Properly treated drinking water is not a source of infection but there are 
other forms to acquire de infection. All of them depend on the fecal 
contamination of water or other food. For example, an infected  person who 
has small amounts of feces around the anus or discharges small amounts of 
feces while bathing in a swimming pool or a lake will contaminate the water. 
Any other bather ingesting small amounts of such water may become infected.   
Also, any food handler (hotdog vendor, cook, food server, house wife) who 
is infected, goes to the bathroom, contaminates his/her  hands with feces, 
and comes back to handle the food without carefull washing his/her hands can 
deposited resistent forms of Giardia on the food and pass them to whoever eats 
the food.  Finally, small courses of water that are contaminated with human 
(or animals) feces and are use to water lettuces, tomatoes, or other 
vegetables can alto take the parasite to your table. 
Pepto-Bismol does not kill Giardia but only relieves some symptoms of the 
disease. I wonder whether your doctor thought that you had giardiasis and 
decided against it because he/she is not treating the infection. There are
specific medicines agasint giardiasis taht can be used in lactating women 
(although others may de dangerous for the baby). I do not mention any drug 
because I do not believe in automedication for people who do not have full 
knowledge of the complete spectrum of activity of the medicine. If you have 
any doubt about the treatment, you should talk with your doctor. 
	Sincerly,
				Omar O. Barriga



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