Been abroad? Do the Backpackerschecktest your stool for parasites!
Fecal examination profile V65 consisting of: Worm eggs including Schistosoma sp. (Bilharzia) Intestinal protozos including dientamoebafragilia, entamoeba antigen and Giardia Lambia antigen.
Diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea. With these symptoms we often quickly think of an abdominal virus, allergic reaction or food poisoning. However, intestinal parasites can also cause symptoms. An intestinal parasite usually does little more than absorb food and bacteria from the intestine. This is because a parasite needs a host, human or animal, to survive and thus uses the intestinal contents to live and multiply. Most people do not notice the presence of the uninvited guest. Thereby, there are also numerous harmless parasites. However, sometimes the parasites bind to the intestinal mucosa and cause inflammatory reactions. Due to irritation and swelling of the mucosa, the abdomen swells and pain and diarrhea occur. Infection with a parasite can usually be recognized by the changing structure of the stool. When normal stools alternate with a thinner substance every four to ten days, you may have a parasite in your intestines.
In addition to abdominal discomfort and diarrhea, nausea, eczema or skin symptoms and fatigue may also occur.
Intestinal parasites that can lead to symptoms:
- Of all the flatworms, the Schistosoma species are the main cause of parasitic infections in humans (apart from malaria parasites). Infection by the parasite is the cause of schistosomiasis.
- Bilharzia is a worm disease. In the first weeks or months, fever, diarrhoea and skin abnormalities are the known symptoms. Then an inflammation of the bladder or intestines occurs. A few months to years after infection symptoms such as diarrhoea with blood or blood in the urine can occur. Bilharzia is found in Africa, parts of Latin America, China, Japan, Indonesia and some parts of the Middle East.
- Protozoal intestinal infections with diarrhea are not rare. Parasitological faecal examination is worthwhile in explaining misunderstood chronic diarrhea.
- Dientamoeba fragilis is a parasite that can occur in the intestine. Parasites need a host (in this case humans) in order to survive. Dientamoeba fragilis lives off our intestinal contents and is therefore a parasite. It is a controversial parasite. For years people thought that this parasite would not cause intestinal problems. However, in a number of cases the parasite can cause stomach aches and diarrhea. It is certain that some people who carry Dietamoeba fragilis do not have any symptoms. It seems that children in particular can suffer greatly from an infection with Dientamoeba fragilis.
- Entamoeba histolytica is particularly common in the tropics and subtropics, estimated to affect about half a billion people.One of the main characteristics of Entamoeba histolytica is that it kills red blood cells (erythrocytes). The active feeding state of this entamoeba is also called amoebic trophozoite.
- Giardia lamblia is a parasite that occurs worldwide and especially in tropical areas. In the Netherlands an infection with Giardia lamblia occurs regularly, especially in children. An infection with Giardia lamblia is called giardiasis or lambliasis.