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Intestinal Parasites

Douglas W. MacPherson, MD, MSc—CTM, FRCPC Reviewed 06/2018
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Parasites are divided into two groups.

    • Intestinal protozoa: single-cell organisms; typically multiply within the host; transmission by direct fecal–oral route; do not cause eosinophil...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

Historical or physical features alone cannot separate intestinal parasites from other GI infections. 
  • Acute bacterial or viral GI syndromes tend to be sudden onset and short duration.

  • F...

TREATMENT

Select specific antiparasitic treatment based on patient history, parasite biology, and epidemiology. 

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Not all patients need drug therapy.

  • Symptomatic treatment is indicated fo...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

  • For most infections, testing for clearance is not indicated.

  • Consequences of intestinal parasitic infections include lactose intolerance, irritab...

REFERENCES

1
Mahmud MA, Spigt M, Bezabih AM, et al. Efficacy of handwashing with soap and nail clipping on intestinal parasitic infections in school-aged children: a factorial cluster randomized contro...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Burgess SL, Gilchrist CA, Lynn TC, et al. Parasitic protozoa and interactions with the host intestinal microbiota. Infect Immun.  2017;85(8).

  • Cama VA, Mathison BA. Infections by...

SEE ALSO

Algorithm: Hematemesis (Bleeding, Upper Gastrointestinal) 

CODES

ICD10

  • B82.9 Intestinal parasitism, unspecified

  • A07.9 Protozoal intestinal disease, unspecified

  • B82.0 Intestinal helminthiasis, unspecified

  • B80 Enterobiasis

  • B71.9 Cestode infection, unspecified

  • B66.9 F...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • GI parasites are relatively common in patients presenting with GI symptoms and a relevant history of travel, recent immigration, daycare, chronic diarrhea, or visible presence of worms...

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