Entamoeba histolytica

Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan parasite that causes amoebiasis, a disease that can range from asymptomatic to severe dysentery and liver abscesses. It is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in tropical countries with inadequate sanitation facilities....

Entamoeba histolytica

What is Entamoeba histolytica?

Entamoeba histolytica is an amoeba that primarily infects the human colon, but can also invade the liver and other organs. Infection can lead to amoebic dysentery, characterized by severe diarrhea, or to amoebic liver abscesses. Many infected individuals, however, remain asymptomatic carriers, which contributes to its spread.

What are the symptoms of Entamoeba histolytica?

  • Diarrhea or dysentery with blood and mucus
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Fever (especially with liver abscess)
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Rectal pain during bowel movements

How is Entamoeba histolytica transmitted?

Entamoeba histolytica is transmitted via the fecal-oral route, commonly through ingestion of food or water contaminated with fecal matter containing the cysts of the parasite. Poor sanitation and hygiene practices are major contributors to its spread. The cysts can survive outside the body in a moist environment and are responsible for the transmission of the infection.

How to prevent Entamoeba histolytica?

  • Drink safe, treated, or boiled water to avoid waterborne transmission.
  • Practice good hygiene, particularly hand washing with soap and water after using the toilet and before handling food.
  • Avoid eating raw fruits and vegetables unless they can be peeled or are thoroughly washed in safe water.
  • Use sanitary facilities for defecation to prevent contamination of water sources.
  • Be cautious of food and water safety when traveling to areas where amoebiasis is endemic.

Test(s) that measure/test for Entamoeba histolytica

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