Giardia lamblia is one of the most common infectious protozoans in the world. Giardia rarely causes severe life-threatening diarrhea, and may even have a slight protective effect in this regard, but it is a major contributor to malnutrition and growth faltering in children in the developing world. Giardia infection also appears to be a significant risk factor for postinfectious irritable bowel and chronic fatigue syndromes. In this review we highlight recent work focused on the impact of giardiasis and the mechanisms that contribute to the various outcomes of this infection, including changes in the composition of the microbiota, activation of immune responses, and immunopathology.
Keywords: Giardia; giardiasis; immunity; immunopathology; microbiota.
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