Dientamoeba fragilis is a nonflagellate trichomonad parasite and is one of the smaller parasites that can live in the human large intestine. Unlike most other intestinal protozoa, its life cycle has no cyst stage; thus, infection between humans occurs during the trophozoite stage. Dientamoeba fragilis is a parasite that lives in the large intestine of humans. It is an important cause of travellers diarrhoea, chronic diarrhoea, fatigue and, in children, failure to thrive.
Symptoms: The most common symptoms are diarrhoea,stomach pain and stomach cramping.sometimes loss of appetite and weight,nausea and fatigue. The infection does not spread from the intestines to other parts of the body.
Diagnosis: Diagnosis is usually performed by submitting multiple stool samples for examination by a parasitologist in a procedure known as an ova and parasite examination. About 30% of children with D. fragilis infection exhibit peripheral blood eosinophilia. The trophozoite forms have been recovered from formed stool, thus the need to perform the ova and parasite examination on specimens other than liquid or soft stools. The most sensitive detection method is parasite culture, and the culture medium requires the addition of rice starch.
Treament: Concomitant pinworm infection should also be excluded, although the association has not been proven. Successful treatment of the infection with iodoquinol, doxycycline, metronidazole, paromomycin, and secnidazole has been reported. All persons living in the same residence should be screened for D. fragilis, as asymptomatic carriers may provide a source of repeated infection. Paromomycin is an effective prophylactic for travellers who will encounter poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water.
Epidamology: Estimated prevalence in the general population in the United States and in other developed countries is most commonly 2-5%. Colonization may occur without development of disease, and, in adults, asymptomatic colonization was once thought to be present in 75-85% of individuals infected by the parasite. symptomatic disease develops in as many as 90% of those colonized. In 2014. No specific mortality is associated with this enteropathogen. . Morbidity related to acute infection occurs in the first 1-2 weeks of the disease, with symptomatology predominated by diarrhea and abdominal pain.