Friday, May 25, 2007

Types of Protozoal Disease

Types of Protozoal Disease

Amoebiasis (Entamoeba histolytica), or amoebic dysentery, is an infection of the bowel (and sometimes the liver and other organs) usually transmitted in contaminated food or water. Its major symptom is violent, sometimes bloody, diarrhoea. Treatment is with Diloxanide, Metronidazole or Tinidazole.

Balantidiasis (Balantidium coli) is an infection of the bowel, specifically the colon, usually transmitted through contact with infected pigs. Possible symptoms include diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Treatment is with Tetracycline, Metronidazole or Diodohydroxy quinoline.

Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium) affects the bowel (and occasionally the respiratory tract and bile ducts). It is spread through contaminated food or water or by contact with animals or other humans. Symptoms include diarrhoea and abdominal pain. There are no specific drugs to treat it, but Paromomycin, Azithromycin or Eflornithine may be effective.

Giardiasis (Giardia Lamblia] or Lambliasis, affects the bowel and is usually transmitted in contaminated food or water; but it may also be spread by some types of sexual contact. Its major symptoms are generalised ill-health, diarrhoea, flatulence and abdominal pain. Treatment is with Mepacrine, Metronidazole or Tinidazole.

Leishmaniasis (Leishmania) is a mainly tropical and subtropical disease caused by organisms spread through sandfly bites. It affects the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and throat and may, in its severe form, invade organs such as the liver. Treatment is with Paromomycin, Sodium stibogluconate, Pentamidine or Amphotericin.

Pneumocystis Pneumonia (Pneumocystis carinil) is a potentially fatal lung infection usually affecting only those people with reduced resistance to infection, such as AIDS sufferers. Symptoms include cough, breathlessness, fever and chest pain. Treatment is with drugs such as Atovaquone, Co-trimoxazole, Pentamidine and Trimetrexate.

Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii) is usually spread via cat faeces or by eating undercooked meat. Although usually symptomless, toxoplasmosis may cause generalised ill health, mild fever and eye inflammation. Treatment is necessary only if the eyes are involved or the patient is immuno-suppressed (such as in AIDS). It may also pass from mother to baby during pregnancy, leading to severe disease in the foetus. Treatment usually consists of Pyrimethamine with Sulfadiazine, Azithromycin, Clarithromycin or Clindamycin, or during pregnancy, Spiramycin.

Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis) most often affects the vagina, causing irritation and an offensive discharge. In men, it may occur in the urethra. It is usually sexually transmitted. Treatment is with Metronidazole or Tinidazole.

Trypanosomiasis (Trypanosoma) or African trypano-somiasis (sleeping sickness) is spread by the tsetse fly and causes fever, swollen glands and drowsiness. South American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease) is spread by assassin bugs and causes inflammation, enlargement of internal organs and infection of the brain. Sleeping sickness is treated with Pentamidine, Suramin, Eflornithine or Melarsoprol. Chagas disease is treated with Primaquine or Nifurtimox.


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