Diarrhea represents a common manifestation of several gastrointestinal diseases. Infectious agents are the most common causes of diarrhea in developing countries, where the inadequate sanitation and hygiene are prevalent. In these countries, the scarcity of preventive measures as well as the limited health resources cause a substantial increase in incidence, morbidity and mortality due to infectious diseases, including diarrhea. Currently, with the availability of rapid and inexpensive air transportation millions of people travel for tourism, work and immigration from developing countries to industrialized countries and vice versa. This leads to a high number of imported pathogens such as parasites causing infectious diarrhea. Importantly, while most cases of parasitic diarrhea are short, mild and self-limited, other cases may be associated with chronic diarrhea and serious morbidity and mortality. The aim of the current review was to provide an update, from a clinician's point of view, of the main parasites causing diarrhea, with a focus on their diagnosis and management in the clinical setting.
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