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Parasitic infections continue to have a substantial socioeconomic impact and are associated with high morbidity and mortality globally, despite recent advances in prevention and treatment. The need for improved epidemiologic surveillance, more accurate diagnostic tools, newer medications to combat resistance, and faster vaccine development continues to be considerable.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified five “neglected parasitic infections” (NPIs) affecting a substantial number of individuals. (1) Commonalities among these infections include underrecognition due to a lack of clinical awareness and optimal diagnostic tests and limited means for therapy and prevention. This article focuses on six protozoan parasitic infections, highlighting new diagnostic tests and reviewing epidemiology and management: cryptosporidiosis, giardiasis, amebiasis, malaria, toxoplasmosis, and trichomoniasis.
Cryptosporidiosis and giardiasis are endemic infections in the United States, predominantly seen in children in northern states...