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Giardia lamblia protozoan. Coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM) of a sagittal section through a Giardia lamblia protozoan (brown/blue) attached to the microvilli (yellow) in the intestine. G. lamblia is a parasite that causes the intestinal illness giardiasis. It exists first as an infectious cyst (not seen), entering the intestine via contaminated water or food. It then develops into a trophozoite, which multiplies in the intestine and blocks nutrient absorption by covering the surface of the intestine and/or damaging the microvilli, the absorptive structures in the intestine. Symptoms of giardiasis include diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.
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