Giardia lamblia: Life Cycle, Diseases and laboratory diagnosis

Giardia lamblia also known as Giardia intestinalis, or Giardia duodenalis is a protozoan flagellates. It is transmitted by faecal-oral route and causes the diarrheal illness called giardiasis (popularly known as beaver fever).

General Characteristics

Life Cycle of Giardia lamblia

Life Cycle of Giardia lamblia (source: CDC)

Because the cysts are infectious when passed in the stool or shortly afterward, person-to-person transmission is possible.

Pathogenesis

Clinical Findings

Giardia infection can cause a variety of intestinal symptoms, which include;

Giardiasis can cause weight loss and failure to absorb fat, lactose, vitamin A and vitamin B12. In children, severe giardiasis might delay physical and mental growth, slow development, and cause malnutrition

Laboratory Diagnosis

Faecal specimen containing Giardia lamblia may have an offensive odour and are pale colored, fatty and float in water.