A genus of usually nonpathogenic flagellated protozoa (suborder Diplomonadina, order Diplomonadida). It is tear-drop shaped, with two anterior nuclei and four pairs of flagella. They inhibit the small intestine of man and other animals. They attach themselves to the cells of the intestinal mucosa, from which they absorb nourishment. It replicates from being passed in the stools of an infected person in the form of a cyst and is transmitted primarily when the infective cysts are ingested in fecally contaminated water or food. The concentration of chloric routinely used in water supplies will not kill Giardia cysts.
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