Protozoal gastrointestinal infections predominantly affect people in lower income countries, with poor sanitation a significant contributing factor. In the developed world, outbreaks mainly affect identifiable high-risk groups and returning travellers. These infections carry a significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. The definitive diagnosis for these infections has traditionally relied upon stool microscopy, but this technique has a poor sensitivity in many infections, and newer technologies such as polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunoassay-based tests are becoming available. Identification of infection is particularly important in patients with HIV or those otherwise immunosuppressed, as they often suffer severe disease.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright: