Veterinary advice should be sought from your local veterinarian before applying any treatment or vaccine. Not sure who to use? Look up veterinarians who specialize in poultry using our directory listing. Find me a Vet
Giardiasis is an intestinal parasitic disease caused by the flagellated protozoa Giardia. Giardia cause disease in a wide range of animal species, including dogs, cats, and humans. Infections occur frequently in backyard chickens and other poultry.
Giardia alter epithelial permeability, leading to inflammatory response and both digestive and absorptive changes to the GI tract. Giardiasis is associated with enteritis resulting in diarrhea and reduced absorption of fat and vitamins A, B12, and E.
Giardia colonize the intestinal tract of many species, and have a direct life cycle involving an environmentally resistant cyst as the infective stage, which must be ingested. The organism is transmitted via fecal-oral route, following ingestion of food or water contaminated with feces from an infected bird.
Giardiasis is diagnosed by determining the presence of trophozoites in fecal samples or cloacal swabs by immunofluorescence.
Giardiasis is easily treated using a variety of antiprotozoal medications, including carnidazole, metronidazole, fenbendazole, and toltrazuril.
Case 1: Giardiasis in a Stork Giardia sp. was found in the white stork in The Netherlands for the first time. The Giardia sp. trophozoites that were found in the feces of a 6-wk-old white stork, were examined by light microscopy. The parasites closely resembled Giardia ardeae that had been isolated by others from several species of wading birds belonging to the order Ciconiiformes, sharing a deeply notched adhesive disk, a single caudal flagellum, and a single round median body. Serologically, the parasites did not react with anti-Giardia intestinalis monoclonal antibodies. Although no signs of intestinal disease were observed in the stork chick, the presence of parasites in all stages of development and the huge number of parasites show that the stork chick was experiencing an active infection with G. ardeae type parasites. Ref