Current treatment options for Dientamoeba fragilis infections

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Journal Article
International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance, 2012, 2 pp. 204 - 215
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Dientamoeba fragilis belongs to the trichomonad group of protozoan parasites and it has been implicated as a cause of gastrointestinal disease with world-wide prevalences ranging from 0.5% to 16%. The majority of patients with dientamoebiasis present with gastrointestinal complaints. Chronic symptoms are common with up to a third of patients exhibiting persistent diarrhoea. Numerous studies have successfully demonstrated parasite clearance, coupled with complete resolution of clinical symptoms following treatment with various antiparasitic compounds. Treatments reported to be successful for dientamoebiasis include carbarsone, diphetarsone, tetracyclines, paromomycin, erythromycin, hydroxyquinolines and the 5-nitroimidazoles, including metronidazole, secnidazole, tinidazole and ornidazole. It is of note that most current treatment data is based only on small number of case reports. No large scale double blind randomised placebo controlled trials testing the efficacy of antimicrobial agents against D. fragilis has been undertaken highlighting the need for further study. In addition there is very little in vitro susceptibility data available for the organism making some current treatment options questionable. The aim of this review is to critically discuss all treatment options currently available for dientamoebiasis. © 2012.
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