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J Trop Med Hyg. 1995 Oct;98(5):309-15.

Descriptive features of Dientamoeba fragilis infections.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


A total of 237 cases of Dientamoeba fragilis were identified by a state public health laboratory in 1985 and 1986. Dientamoeba fragilis was the only parasite found in about two-thirds of the cases. Compared to Giardia cases diagnosed in a similar time period, D. fragilis occurred more frequently in females and in children 5-9 years old; it was also more likely to be detected in spring and summer months. Giardia occurred more frequently in children 0-4 years old. Seventy-nine per cent of 70 interviewed D. fragilis cases reported symptoms associated with infection; nearly 80% had diarrhoea or loose stools. Interviewed cases reported more household and non-household exposure to children 5-9 years old than children of other ages. The difference in age and sex distribution of D. fragilis and Giardia cases may be related to the life cycle and mode of transmission of the two protozoans.

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