Protozoa and Human Health: A Review of Illnesses and Diseases

Protozoa Human

What is the global burden of illness caused by protozoan infections?

Protozoa are microscopic organisms that are often difficult to identify, but their association with human health is undeniable. This review will look at the various illnesses and diseases caused by protozoa and the associated risk factors.

Infections Caused by Protozoa

Protozoa are involved in a variety of infections, ranging from malaria to cryptosporidiosis. Infections caused by protozoa can lead to illness and sometimes death, particularly in those who are not able to access adequate healthcare. Some of the other protozoan-related infections include:

  • Malaria – caused by the protozoan Plasmodium, malaria can lead to fever, chills, and anemia.
  • Giardiasis – this is an intestinal infection caused by the protozoan Giardia. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and fatigue.
  • Cryptosporidiosis – caused by the protozoan Crypto sporidium, cryptosporidiosis can lead to severe dehydration.
  • Toxoplasmosis – caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma, this infection can lead to fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and can potentially cause birth defects.

Risk Factors for Protozoal Infections

There are certain risk factors associated with protozoan infections, including travel to areas where they are widespread, contact with contaminated water or food, and immunosuppressive health conditions. It is also important to be aware that certain types of medications and treatments can increase the chance of being infected. Additionally, elderly individuals and HIV/AIDS patients are more at risk of protozoan infections.

Prevention and Treatment

It is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with protozoan infections and to take appropriate measures to prevent them. To reduce the spread of protozoan infections, it is important to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently, avoiding contact with contaminated water and food, and taking medications as prescribed. Additionally, individuals should be aware of the symptoms of protozoan infections so that they can seek medical attention immediately if necessary.

The treatment for protozoan infections depends on the specific type of infection. In most cases, antibiotics are prescribed. In some cases, other medications such as antiprotozoal drugs may be used. Additionally, supportive measures such as fluids and nutritional support may be necessary in cases where the infection has caused severe symptoms.


Although protozoan infections are not as commonly discussed as other illnesses, understanding these infections and the associated risk factors can help individuals to take steps to protect themselves and their families. In addition to practicing good hygiene, individuals should be aware of the symptoms of protozoan infections and seek medical attention if they experience anything unusual. Additionally, those who are at higher risk should be especially aware of the potential risks involved.

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