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There are many medical specialties, all of which require different training, experience, and expertise. To help you find the kind of doctor best able to help you, consider the following:. The specialist you see should be related to the symptoms you are having. Several kinds of medical specialties and a description are listed below.


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CDC is not a clinic or hospital. CDC is a public health institution that is a part of the federal government. CDC cannot refer patients to specific doctors or prescribe medication. This is not true. Parasitic diseases are diagnosed and treated every day in the United States. Some are common and some are very rare, found only in travelers or immigrants from areas where the parasites are common. Diagnosis is sometimes difficult and may require a specialist. To find a doctor familiar with diagnosing and treating parasitic infections, consider the following:.

Note: Not all doctors choose to be members of associations or societies. Not all doctors listed on association Web sites have office hours, so you should check first and choose one that does. Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options Skip directly to A-Z link. Section Navigation.

Ebook Handbook Of Drugs For Tropical Parasitic Infections 1995

Minus Related Pages. On this Page What kind of doctor should I see? Can I make an appointment at CDC? Is this true? Identification of motile organisms by wet mount is the most rapid. Direct fluorescent antibody for parasites is more sensitive; culture is most sensitive but takes 3—7 days.

Recommended time for urine collection is between noon and 3 PM. Centrifugation increases detection.

1. Introduction

Parasitic infections should be considered in the differential diagnosis of clinical syndromes in residents of or travelers to areas where sanitation and hygiene are poor or where vector-borne diseases are endemic. For example, fever in a traveler returning from an endemic area suggests the possibility of malaria. Experience indicates that people who have immigrated from endemic areas to developed countries and who return home to visit friends and relatives are at particular risk.

They frequently do not seek or cannot afford pretravel vaccines, medications, and advice on disease prevention and are more likely to enter high-risk settings than tourists who stay at resort facilities. Although less frequent, the possibility of an endemic or imported parasitic infection must also be considered in residents of developed countries who present with suggestive clinical syndromes, even if they have not traveled. Historical information, physical findings, and laboratory data may also suggest specific parasitic infections.

For example, eosinophilia is common when helminths migrate through tissue and suggests a parasitic infection in an immigrant or returning traveler. The diagnosis of parasitic infections was once based on the identification of ova, larvae, or adult parasites in stool, blood, tissue or other samples or the presence of antibodies in serum, but diagnosis is being increasingly based on identification of parasite antigens or molecular tests for parasite DNA. Physicians with expertise in parasitic infections and tropical medicine are available for consultation at many major medical centers, travel clinics, and public health facilities.

Various stages of protozoa and helminths that infect the GI tract are typically shed in the stool. Routine detection requires examination of stool specimens, preferably 3 collected on different days, because shedding can vary. Sensitivity of stool examination for ova and parasites is low enough that when clinical suspicion is strong, empirical treatment should be considered.

Sensitive and specific assays are now available to detect antigens of Giardia , Cryptosporidium , and Entamoeba histolytica in stool. Although expensive, molecular tests also are available for Giardia , Cryptosporidium , E. Tests for one or more of these organisms are typically included in multiplex polymerase chain reaction PCR -based screens for enteric bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens in stool samples see table Serologic and Molecular Tests for Parasitic Infections.

Freshly passed stools uncontaminated with urine, water, dirt, or disinfectants should be sent to the laboratory within 1 hour; unformed or watery stools are most likely to contain motile trophozoites.

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If not examined immediately, stools should be refrigerated, but not frozen. Portions of fresh stools should also be emulsified in fixative to preserve gastrointestinal protozoa. Concentration techniques can be used to improve sensitivity.


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Anal cellophane tape or swabs may collect pinworm or tapeworm eggs. If strongyloidiasis is suspected, one or more specialized stool tests should be done if larvae are not seen on direct examination of fresh stool. Antibiotics, x-ray contrast material, purgatives, and antacids can hinder detection of ova and parasites for several weeks. Sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy should be considered when routine stool examinations are negative and amebiasis is suspected in patients with persistent gastrointestinal symptoms.

Sigmoidoscopic specimens should be collected with a curet or spoon cotton swabs are not suitable and processed immediately for microscopy. Duodenal aspirates or small-bowel biopsy specimens may be necessary for diagnosis of such infections as cryptosporidiosis and microsporidiosis. Some parasites can be detected by serologic tests see table Serologic and Molecular Tests for Parasitic Infections. Serum or cerebrospinal fluid: Antigen used to assess responses to therapy; not sensitive enough for diagnosis.

NOTE: Some antigen and parasite detection kits are available commercially. Others are available at the CDC or other reference laboratories. Molecular tests for a number of other parasites are available in reference or research laboratories. Advice for treating parasitic infections also is available from experts at major medical and public health centers and travel clinics, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC web site , in textbooks of infectious diseases and tropical medicine, and in summary form from The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics.

Some drugs that are not approved by the U. Despite substantial investment and research, no vaccines are yet available for prevention of human parasitic infections. Prevention is based on avoidance strategies. Handwashing is very important after use of bathrooms and latrines and prior to food preparation. Meat, particularly pork, and fish, especially freshwater varieties, should be thoroughly cooked before ingestion. Other safety measures include removing cat litter boxes from areas where food is prepared to prevent toxoplasmosis.

People should not swim in freshwater lakes, streams, or rivers in areas where schistosomiasis is endemic or walk barefoot or sit bare-bottom in areas where hookworms are found. Prevention of malaria and many other vector-borne diseases involves. Applying diethyltoluamide DEET -containing insect repellants to exposed skin and permethrin to clothing. Using window screens, air-conditioning, and bed nets impregnated with permethrin or other insecticides. For residents of nonendemic areas who travel in regions where malaria is transmitted, taking prophylactic antimalarial drugs.

Travelers to rural Latin America should not sleep in adobe dwellings where reduviid bugs can transmit Chagas disease. In Africa, travelers should avoid bright-colored clothing and wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to avoid tsetse flies in regions where African sleeping sickness occurs. CDC: Yellow Book CDC: Travelers' Health. From developing new therapies that treat and prevent disease to helping people in need, we are committed to improving health and well-being around the world. The Manual was first published in as a service to the community.

Learn more about our commitment to Global Medical Knowledge. Common Health Topics. Videos Figures Images Quizzes. GI tract parasites Serologic testing for parasitic infections. More Information. Test your knowledge. Which of the following is a risk factor for community-acquired Acinetobacter infection?

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Add to Any Platform. Click here for Patient Education. Single-cell organisms protozoa, microsporidia. The characteristics of protozoan and helminthic infections vary in important ways. Roundworms nematodes. Microscopic examination. Prepare smears from capillary or anticoagulated blood within 3 hours after collection. Aspirates of bone marrow, spleen, liver, or lymph nodes or smears from the buffy coat.

Transmission electron microscopy is the gold standard for detection of microsporidia. Rectal biopsy specimen from level of dorsal fold Houston valve , about 9 cm from anus. Keep formed stools refrigerated until examination. Preserve in formalin or another fixative. Refrigerate and examine fresh samples, or preserve in formalin or another fixative. Handle with care; fresh and dichromate-preserved stools are infectious. Electron microscopy is the most sensitive method and used for speciation.

Multiple stools collected daily up to 7 needed for Strongyloides. Active larvae are seen with Strongyloides ; ova are seen with other intestinal helminths. Ova collected from area around the anus on cellophane tape and placed on glass slide. Collect from area around the anus in the AM before a bowel movement or bath. Examine specimen as soon as possible, or preserve for later examination. Concentration techniques may be necessary. Occasionally, ova are present in pleural fluid. Sputum, any aspirated material, fluid obtained by BAL or drainage material.

Examine specimen as soon as possible, or preserve it for later examination. Active larvae may be seen in wet mounts or can be fixed and stained with Giemsa. Open lung biopsy or percutaneous biopsy guided by fluoroscopy or CT.

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For patients infected in Africa, skin snips from the thigh, buttocks, or iliac crest. For patients infected in Latin America, skin snips from the head, scapula, or buttocks. Biopsy of a nonulcerated area of the lesion and touch preparations or slip smear scrapings. Tell female patients not to douche for 3—4 days before collecting the specimen. Fresh urine or biopsy of the urinary bladder, particularly the area around the trigone.

Ova can be seen in wet mounts of urine or in biopsy specimens from the bladder. Various treatments, depending on the specific infection. Sanitary disposal of feces. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants. CDC: About Parasites. CDC: Parasites. Pearson, MD. Was This Page Helpful? Yes No. Overview of Arbovirus, Arenavirus, and Filovirus Infections. Plasmodium species.

Collect multiple samples during acute illness. Use Wright or Giemsa stain. Ensure that glass slides are clean. Babesia species. Thick and thin smears as for Plasmodium species. Collect as for Plasmodium species. Trypanosoma species. Thin smears of capillary blood or 5—6 mL of anticoagulated blood. Collect capillary or anticoagulated blood. Smear on glass slides. Various concentration techniques are used to enhance sensitivity.

Leishmania species visceral leishmaniasis. Use Giemsa, Wright-Giemsa, or hematoxylin-eosin stain. Naegleria Acanthamoeba Balamuthia. Fresh spinal fluid. Use aseptic collection technique.

CDC - Parasites - Resources - How to Find a Physician

Examine specimen as soon as possible. Examine using light or phase-contrast microscopy. Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and rhodesiense. Aspirates of lymph nodes or chancre Fresh spinal fluid. Giardia species Cryptosporidium species Cystoisospora species Cyclospora species Microsporidia Strongyloides species. Duodenal aspirate or jejunal biopsy specimen. Schistosoma mansoni Schistosoma japonicum. Speciation is based on the morphology of ova. Entamoeba histolytica. Examine specimen immediately or after fixation and staining. Entamoeba histolytica Entamoeba dispar Other amebas. Examine unformed or diarrheal specimens within 15 minutes.


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