Giardia antibodies are specific for Giardia lamblia, an anaerobic, flagellated eukaryotic protozoan, which is a member of the Hexamitidae family of protozoa.
Giardia lamblia exists in two forms, as a dormant cyst that infects the small intestine and as a trophozoite, a vegetative form that excysts from the cyst. Trophozoites replicate within the intestine causing the symptoms associated with giardiasis. Both cysts and trophozoites are present in contaminated faeces but trophozoites do not survive for long periods in the environment. G. lamblia cysts are found in soil and water, and on surfaces contaminated by faeces from an infected individual. Giardiasis infection in humans occurs via transmission of dormant G.lamblia cysts via the faecal oral route or through ingestion of contaminated food and water (CDC).
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