Taxonomy: f. Hexamitidae
Animal: Giardia intestinalis 4 05.jpg
Sites: Gut
Giardia intestinalis cyst in faecal smear stained with Iodine. Giardia cysts, oval shape, 8 - 12 microns with thick wall 2 - 4 nuclei and remains of locomotor apparatus, deep staining median bodies lie across longitudinal fibers. Although these cysts can be identified in wet smears, many infections are missed without the examination of a permanent stained smear. Also, because the trophozoites of Giardia are attached so firmly by means of their sucking discs in the mucosa; a series of even 5 or 6 samples may be examined without detecting the organisms. Incubation time for giardiasis is 12-20 days; the acute stage is brief but foul smelling, explosive diarrhoea plus lack of blood ,mucus or cellular exudate is consistent with giardiasis. A sub acute or chronic stage may continue with epigastric pain, abdominal distension, belching and weight loss and episodes of foul stools (Garcia & Bruckner, 1997).

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