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Dientamoeba Fragilis

Judy/Bob Dilworth dilworth at megsinet.net
Sat May 22 22:38:42 EST 1999

I personally would ask for a referral to an infectious disease
specialist.  They would be more up on the treatment vs. non-treatment of
this parasite.  Family docs and pediatricians simply don't see this type
of thing on a regular basis.  My nephew (30 yrs. old) was recently
diagnosed with an acute sore throat that caused him to be hospitalized. 
He was put on antibiotics at home, but the situation progressed to the
point where he could swallow NOTHING and became dehydrated; hence the
hospitalization.  Even at a medical school facility, the ENT group kind
of fussed about him and got led down a couple of garden paths.  The
culture provided the definitive diagnosis, which an infectious disease
consult confirmed on one visit and a look at his throat - he had a
Herpes simplex infection that had caused severe spasms in his throat so
that he could not swallow; the culture results confirmed the diagnosis. 
Had he seen infectious disease first thing a lot of tests would probably
not have been run.

Another situation comes to mind.  One of our pathologists made a trip to
India to visit family, and one of the family members in India (child)
had been diagnosed with Giardia in his stool (a parasite also).  Her ten
year old came back with diarrhea, profuse gas, all the typical symptoms
of Giardiasis.  Her pediatrician assumed it was some sort of bacterial
infection and didn't even order the stool specimen to be screened for
parasites (with a history like that even - this situation SCREAMS for an
O&P to be ordered!).  I did a direct wet prep of the stool and lo and
behold - it was LOADED with Giardia!  

Enough said.

Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)
Microbiology 25 years

Mammoth wrote:
> My three year old was recently diagnosed with having the parasite
> Dientameoba Fragilis.  Symptoms included: fatigue, weight loss, stomach
> cramps, and bright green to olive-green diarrhea.  She was treated twice a
> day for 20 days with medication but still the "bug" persists.  My family
> physician (who admitted to not knowing much about this parasite) referred me
> to a pediatrician.  After consulting with the pediatrician, he felt that she
> required no further treatment but I feel if the "bug" is still there,
> further steps are needed to eliminate it.  My questions are: What are the
> possible complications of having this parasite?
> Where could she have picked it up (the rest of the family have tested
> negative)?  Any response would be greatly appreciated.
> Lisa Fournier

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