Dientamoeba fragilis--a protozoal infection which may cause severe bowel distress

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2003 Jan;9(1):65-8. doi: 10.1046/j.1469-0691.2003.00459.x.


A retrospective study of 87 patients diagnosed with the protozoan Dientamoeba fragilis was performed due to a recent increase in the number of patients diagnosed with this organism at the Unit of Clinical Parasitology, Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Medical records were reviewed. The highest incidence was found in pre-school boys, who also had the longest duration of symptoms, with a range of 1-630 weeks. A majority of the patients had symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pain and flatus. The diarrhea varied from watery to loose, blood being reported only sporadically. Most patients had traveled outside Europe and had no other parasites in their stools. This study indicates potential pathologic properties in D. fragilis, and prospective studies are recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology
  • Diarrhea / parasitology
  • Dientamoeba / growth & development*
  • Dientamoebiasis / drug therapy*
  • Dientamoebiasis / epidemiology*
  • Dientamoebiasis / parasitology
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Metronidazole / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Metronidazole