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Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2003 Apr;17(2):189-97.

Parasitic diarrhea in normal and malnourished children.

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St Vincent de Paul Hospital, Paris, France Department of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine, CHR, Tours.


Diarrhea is only one of the many manifestations of intestinal parasites. Environmental influences are inescapable, regardless of an individual's state of health: in a highly endemic region, intestinal parasitic colonization is almost the rule. The clinical expression of the parasitoses, however, is largely determined by host defenses; and when they are weakened, parasitic diarrhea is frequent and severe. Protein-energy malnutrition is by far the most important cause of immune deficiency in developing countries. Diarrhea caused by Strongyloides or Giardia is common and severe in malnourished children, while well-nourished children remain healthy carriers. These parasites require specific treatment in the malnourished; and the well-nourished should have preventive treatment when they are to receive corticosteroids or immunosuppressive agents. Diarrhea caused by Cryptosporidium spp. may be severe in malnourished or immunodeficient children, and recovery is achieved only after renutrition or treatment of the immunodeficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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