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Help! I have a parasite

Graham Clark graham.clark at lshtm.ac.uk
Sat Mar 1 08:06:33 EST 1997

Omar O. Barriga writes:

>         I am sure that somebody will come up with an anecdotal =

>case in which D. fragilis caused some obscure symptoms in some obscure =

>country in 1826 or about. The fact is, D. fragilis is NOT a cause of =

>disease in >99% of the cases.  =

I can do better than that. In 1995 a paper(*) was published describing =

237 cases of D. fragilis infection, 149 where D.f. was the only parasite
identified. Almost 80% of the 70 infected individuals interviewed =

reported symptoms, usually diarrhea/loose stool or abdominal pain/cramps.
While not a case controlled study it is pretty convincing. Where was it
performed? Not in an 'obscure country' - it was in Washington State, USA.
Incidentally, since D.fragilis was first described in 1919 it would have
been surprising to find an 1826 reference.

While I agree that other causes of any symptoms should be considered, =

D. fragilis should not be dismissed as a potential cause of disease.

Graham Clark

(*) Grendon, J.H., DiGiacomo, R.F., Frost, F.J. 1995. Descriptive features =

of Dientamoeba fragilis infections. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 98: 309-315.
C. Graham Clark, Ph.D.
Department of Medical Parasitology,
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,
Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, England, G.B.
Tel: ++44-171-927-2351
FAX: ++44-171-636-8739
e-mail: g.clark at lshtm.ac.uk

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