Direct Fecal—Oral Transmission of Giardiasis

  • Robert L. Owen


Giardia are highly adapted to a role as obligatory intestinal luminal parasites, in a variety of warm-blooded and cold-blooded animals including birds (Meyer and Radulescu, 1979). They require no intermediate developmental stage outside of the primary host and are present in an infective form in the feces of the host. The wide distribution of Giardia as parasites throughout the animal kingdom provides evidence that multiple opportunities occur for ingestion of material contaminated by feces containing the infective cysts of Giardia for completion of its life cycle and perpetuation of the species. Infection from ingestion of water contaminated by Giardia cysts has been discussed in Chapter 15. Infection from contamination of water supplies can be solved by technology. A more vexing problem is direct transmission of giardiasis by ingestion of fecally contaminated material. The roots of such direct transmission lie within social institutions, cultural perceptions, and close social and sexual interactions which must be recognized and understood if transmission patterns are to be interrupted.


Enteric Pathogen Male Homosexual Giardia Lamblia Infective Cyst Giardia Cyst 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. Owen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Cell Biology SectionVeterans Administration Medical CenterSan FranciscoUSA

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