The Comprehensive Parasitology profile is an important tool for identifying imbalances in intestinal microflora. It includes comprehensive bacteriology and yeast cultures to identify the presence of beneficial flora, imbalanced flora including Clostridium species, and dysbiotic flora, as well as detection of infectious pathogens and evaluation for the presence of parasites. 1
A good balance of beneficial microflora has been known to be associated with health benefits since the turn of the century. At that time Metchnikoff drew attention to the adverse effects of dysbiotic gut microflora on the host and suggested that ingestion of fermented milks ameliorated what he called “autointoxication.” He proposed that the consumption of large quantities of Lactobacillus species would reduce the number of toxin-producing bacteria and result in better health and increased lifespan. 2
Infection with yeast species can cause a variety of symptoms, both intra- and extra-gastrointestinal, and in many cases, may escape suspicion as a pathogenic agent. Controversy remains as to the relationship between Candida infection and episodes of recurrent diarrhea. However, episodes of yeast infection after short-term and long-term antibiotic use have been identified in patients with both gastrointestinal and vaginal symptoms. 3
While parasitic infection may be an underlying etiological factor in several chronic disease processes, doctors often do not consider the potential for parasitic involvement because signs and symptoms of parasitic infection often resemble those of other diseases. However, it has been shown that parasite testing is a reasonable approach to the detection of causative agents for chronic gastrointestinal disorders.
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