The general features of the Zoomastigophorea class of the Protozoan phylum are: Movement is effected by means of one or several long flagella; they are oval, elongated or spherical in shape. Reproduction of parasites is generally by longitudinal fission (asexual), sexual reproduction rarely occurs. Important representatives of this class are the trypanosomes, leishmaniaes, tricomonas and lamblias. But special attention would be given to only the Trichomonas and the Lamblia. What are they and how do they affect man?
It is the causative agent of the Urogenital trichomoniasis. World Health organization (WHO) has estimated a whooping sum of 180 million cases of this disease been acquired yearly globally. Just in North America, there are new cases of 5-8 million infections each year with an estimate as high as 50% of asymptomatic cases. This statistics is more than enough reason to give such an illness a careful look and attention.
Trichomonas vaginalis is a pear-shaped trophozoite (7 to 23 micrometer) with four anterior flagella; the fifth forming the edge of an undulating membrane. The axostyle extends the length of the body.
Multiplication and Life cycle
The trophozoite, been the only form of this organism divides by binary fission in the Urogenital tract. its transfer is usually directly from person to person.
Clinical manifestations and prophylaxis
Trichomoniasis is a common urogenital disease in women. Vaginitis, with discharge may be present, frequent and painful urination are common. This infection is usually asymptomatic in men. The organisms are transferred during sexual intercourse. It increases a woman's susceptibility to HIV. It is diagnosed by observing the trichomonas organisms in the vaginal fluid, scrapings or washing. It can be treated with the prescription of drugs, for example Tinidazole or Metronidazole. Men may be asymptomatic but as well pass it to their partners, so hence, treatment is as well essential for the men. Prophylaxis is done by the avoidance of sexual intercourse when signs such as sharp pains or discharge during urination begin to manifest. A long term sexual relationship with a healthy partner is a very good prophylaxis.
Found in the large intestine, is a non-pathogenic specie and doesn't form cysts.
Is the causative agent of lambliosis. Lamblias are bilateral, symmetrical, pear-shaped organisms with an elongated posterior and two symmetrically placed nuclei. The body of the parasite is from 10 to 18 micrometer long. The organisms move by means of four pairs of flagella. The parasites form oval-shaped cysts which are 10-14 micrometer and have four nuclei.
Pathogenesis and disease in man
The source of infection is people who discharge cysts with the feces. The chitin membrane of the cyst dissolves in small intestine. The vegetative forms (trophozoites) of lamblias multiply in the small intestine and penetrate into the duodenum and gall bladder. The liver and intestine are involved (chronic duodenitis, enterocolitis). Cholecystitis and hepatitis develop quite frequently. Laboratory diagnosis is made by microscopic examination of the duodenal contents or feces. Prophylactic measures are similar to those carried out in prevention of intestinal infection.
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