Immediate stool screening for the presence of Giardia lamblia antigens is used for the laboratory diagnosis of giardiasis, a gastrointestinal disorder with diarrhea as the main symptom.
Giardia lamblia (also known as Giardia duodenalis and Giardia intestinalis), is a flagellated protozoan that is found in polluted waters and lakes. People become infected when they consume resistant protozoan cysts found in water and food or through the fecal-oral route.
Giardia lamblia mainly infects the small intestine causing odorous watery diarrhea and flatulence, and the patient may also experience malabsorption and intolerance to lactose. Giardiasis is a fairly common intestinal parasitic infection in developing countries and less common in developed countries and is a major cause of diarrhea in children, travelers, and campers.
Giardia lamblia can be detected by simple fecal parasitological examination, but the specificity and sensitivity of the method are low and up to 3 or more samples may be required to make a diagnosis. Instead, direct fecal screening for the presence of Giardia lamblia antigens using an immunochromatographic assay is a faster, more sensitive, and more effective method for detecting Giardia.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.