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Types Of Protozoal Infections

Feb 18, 2008
Protozoal infections are essentially body infections which are caused by single celled creatures also known as Protozoa. Here we talk about some of the most common protozoal infections.

Malaria

Malaria is one of the most common protozoal infections in which sporozoan parasites of the genus called Plasmodium get transferred into the bloodstream through the bite of an Anopheles mosquito which has been infected. The patient suffers from interspersed bouts of fever and chills. Shots of quinine can effectively help reduce the intensity of the disease. The disease is most commonly found in tropical as well as subtropical climates. More than 515 people get infected with this disease and approximately 1-3 million persons die because of it. The typical symptoms of malaria include chills, fever, flu like conditions and in extreme cases of the disease it can even result in death or coma.

Amoebiasis

This is a condition which is largely caused by the protozoan called Entamoeba histolytica. It occurs when the person drinks water that has been contaminated or food which is infected. Usually it happens inside the intestine and in case of symptoms being displayed the condition is called invasive amoebiasis. Usually the disease gets diagnosed by the presence of cysts in the stool. With the help of microscopy the condition can be effectively diagnosed. Two common drugs that are used to get rid of the infection are called Metronidazole and Ornidazole.

Giardiasis

This is primarily an intestinal infection which occurs because of the presence of protozoa inside. Usually the protozoa are found inside food or water which has been contaminated. The patient suffers from severe diarrhea, flatulence or even nausea. In general there is a lot of discomfort inside the abdominal region. The disease is also known as beaver fever and gets transmitted via the oral-fecal passage. The disease can occur either because of personal touch or food and water which has been contaminated. Travelers who consume food and water which is contaminated or those people who spend their time in day care centers are most susceptible to infection. Some of the major carriers of the infection include cats, dogs, horses, cattle and beavers (which accounts for its name).

Kala Azar

This disease is another one of those that is caused by the protozoan. It is also known as Leishmaniasis. The disease is transmitted because of the bite of the sand fly. Several other kinds of flies can also transmit the infection. The disease is also called Leishmaniose, Baghdad Boil, Dum-Dum fever, black fever, espundia or even sandfly disease. Most of the time the disease gets transmitted by animals but sometimes it can even get transmitted amongst humans. Usually the symptoms of the disease manifest after around a few weeks to a couple of months after a bite from the sand fly. Sometimes other symptoms can even erupt after several months or years. One of the most severe forms of the disease is called Visceral leishmaniasis in which case the parasites affect all the vital organs of the body.

Trichomoniasis

This is a condition in which the vaginal tract gets infected by the protozoan creatures. In men the condition occurs in the urethra while in women it occurs in the vagina. However the condition is far more common in women than in men. In some cases it can occur in uncircumcised men. Women tend to experience the symptoms within 5 or 28 days since the exposure to the infection. Common symptoms include the discharge of a yellowish, gray or heavy fluid, bad odor from the vagina as well as pain during urination. In general there can be irritation as well as itching in and around the vaginal area. In some extreme cases there may even be pain present in the lower area of the abdomen. In most women who are infected conditions like inflammation, edema, metaplasia as well as hypertrophy maybe present. As far as research on the disease is concerned it has been found that the condition shows an increased susceptibility to HIV transmission and in most women the condition can result in the delivery of a premature infant or a baby with less weight. Generally women and men need to ensure proper personal hygiene.
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