Parasites have different stages of the life cycle and most of them are completed in the body of a host. Parasitic infections are still a major health issue in underdeveloped countries. Still, it can’t be said that developed countries are safe. However, with proper measures of prevention and adequate treatment the infection can be controlled to a great extent.
Given below are some of the best ways to control and treat parasitic infections.
Diagnosis of parasitic infections is usually done through the following methods.
For microscopic diagnosis, it is a basic test carried out to diagnose the parasite or its ova. The detection of parasitic infections is begun by collecting the stool samples of the person. The samples can be collected at different time intervals and then delivered to the lab. To avoid degradation and preservation, the samples are collected in specific kinds of containers and mixed with the preservative fluid. Specimens are then prepared with different stains. Various staining method options are used such as Ziehl-Neelsen, Safranin methylene blue, etc.
Gastrointestinal tract parasites
For the diagnosis of parasites in the gastrointestinal tract, different tests such as endoscopy and colonoscopy are performed. These parasites are a major reason behind the patient’s diarrhea, loose faces, or other stomach problems. Sometimes microscopic analysis of stools fails to reveal the parasites then gastrointestinal tests are performed. During endoscopy, a thin pipe is inserted through the mouth or into the rectum for the examination of the intestinal tract.
Antigen and DNA tests
Some parasitic infections can also be diagnosed through blood sample examination. The blood testing works for only certain parasites. One type of test is referred to as serology in which the presence of antibodies or antigens is confirmed.
Another type of test termed a blood smear, is performed for specific parasites detection including malaria, filariasis, etc. In this test blood smear is observed under the microscope.
Another advanced way of testing for parasites is through the polymerase chain reaction of stool samples. For more characterized results DNA sequencing is performed on the PCR amplified fragments.
The intensity of the parasitic infections may vary from mild to severe. In some cases, there is even no need for medication and the infection vanishes by itself. If treatment is required then at first the progression of infection is confirmed by the doctor. Depending on the type of parasite appropriate treatment is formulated by manufacturers and recommended to the patients. The most common treatment includes anti-parasitic drugs like Ivermectin manufacturers in India and other areas. But in some cases of parasitic infections, antifungals or antibiotics are also advised by the physicians. These drugs may include anti-protozoal or anthelmintic medicines. All these drugs destroy a certain stage of the parasite life cycle or target the adults to eliminate the parasite.
Ways To Control
Here are some of the most basic ways to control the transmission rate of parasitic infection
Provision of purified water
One of the most common reasons behind the transmission of parasitic infection is the consumption of contaminated water. Awareness should be spread as even if the water looks clean for example tap water, there is no guarantee that this water is contamination-free. Governments should also make sure to provide treated water without any infection.
Sanitary disposal of feces
Contaminated waste must always be disposed of with proper care as it can be a source of transmission as fecal waste can attract flies who spread the infection later on. Government authorities must also play their part in providing proper sanitation systems as areas with poor sanitary conditions have a higher number of parasitic infection cases.
Washing hands is a basic hygiene practice but people from every age group, especially kids, may neglect the importance of washing hands. Parasitic infections can also be spread through person-to-person contact, contact with pets, or contaminated surfaces. And eating food or touching a wound with such unwashed contaminated hands can be also a reason behind the transmission. Hands must be washed with some good quality soap after coming to the house or before eating food, after playing with pets, etc.
Proper cooking of food
Several infections are easily transmitted by the food ingested by the people for instance protozoan infections. Parasitic infection of helminthic roundworms, flukes, and tapeworms can be transmitted through edibles that include undercooked meat, fish, seafood, aquatic plants, or already infected raw vegetables.
Parasitic infections can be life-threatening if not diagnosed or treated on time. But thanks to science and technology, there are numerous ways to control them. Along with taking an anti-parasitic medication like Ivermectin or Metronidazole, following the above described controlling methods further reduces the chances of parasitic infections.