This SEM image (fig.2) below of a Giardia
Protozoan, by Janice Carr, clearly shows both flagella and the adhesion disk. present in the un-encysted phase
of the Giardia life-cycle. The property of clinging to the lumen wall is one of the traits which makes infection
with Giardia difficult to treat, a process requiring strong drugs (metronidazole, tinidazole or nitazoxanide) to
Infection is often mis-diagnosed. Symptoms of infection include diarrhea, excessive gas emission through flatulence
or burps, foul smelling stools, nausea, and diminished interest in food. It usually causes "explosive diarrhea"
and while unpleasant, is not fatal. The condition is usually self-limiting in healthy individuals.
Fig.2 (please see copyright information on resources page)
Seeing Giardia better
From an enthusiast Microscopist's point of view, and perhaps of greater interest, is the ability of a powerful
scanning electron microscope to reveal what is difficult to see clearly within the magnification limits of a light
microscope. Wouldn't we all like one?
Unfortunately, most enthusiasts
will not be able to afford such instruments but by applying 3d modelling techniques, we can gain an advantage in
helping us understand and visualize what we cannot see through our own instruments. So let's see what can be achieved using 3D modelling....