Hope for treatment of the diarrhea disease
Diarrhea treatment research
Today's issue of the scientific journal Science presents research on the genetic make-up and biology of the parasite Giardia lamblia that ultimately may lead to better diagnosis and treatment of the diarrhea disease giardiasis, which affects 200 million people every year. It may also bring an understanding of several vital biological processes in humans.
Giardia lamblia is an intestinal parasite that exists all over the world and causes diarrhea. Above all, it affects young individuals, and in the third world the infection is extremely common. At present roughly 200 million people are infected with Giardia; Sweden has 1,500 cases each year, with infection spreading at day-care centers and via polluted water. Recently the Norwegian city of Bergen experienced a major water-borne epidemic, with 1,300 people infected by the parasite. Young animals can also get Giardia infections, which entails major costs for agriculture. It is not known why Giardia makes people sick, nor why some people are more susceptible than others.