Amoebiasis – A gastroenteritis problem

Amoebiasis- A gastroenteritis problem

Amoebiasis is a condition caused due to entamoeba histolytica which resides in the gut and causes serious gut issues in individuals. It is the main gastroenteritis problem. It is quite common in underdeveloped and developing countries due to poor sanitation and unhygienic food habits. Entamoeba histolytica is a protozoan parasite of human which resides in the intestine. It is infected or transmitted through contaminated food and water with the parasite. It forms a hard thick shell to survive harsh conditions and sustain through and transmit to other healthy individual. This stage of the life cycle of entamoeba histolytic is called as cyst. When it is transmitted to a new host it becomes active and the active trophozite causes ulcers in the intestines. It can also spread to other organs like the liver, lungs, and brain by invading the venous system of the intestines. If it invades the liver, it causes formation of the typical anchovy paste like pus.

Hepatic amoebiasis- 

Complications of hepatic amoebiasis include sub diaphragmatic abscess, perforation of diaphragm to pericardium and pleural cavity, perforation to abdominal cavity (amoebic peritonitis) and perforation of skin (amoebic cutis).

Pulmonary amoebiasis-

It can occur from hepatic lesion by haemotagenous spread and also by perforation of pleural cavity and lung. It can cause lung abscess, pulmono pleural fistula, empyema lung and broncho pleural fistula.

Amoebic brain abscess-

Entamoeba histolytica can also reach brain through blood vessel and cause amoebic brain abscess and amoebic meningoencephalitis.

Cutaneous amoebiasis-

It can also occur in skin around sites of colostomy wound, perianal region, and region overlying visceral lesion and at the site of drainage of liver abscess.

Urogenital tract amoebiasis-

It is derived from intestinal lesion can cause amoebic vulvovaginitis (May’s disease), rectovesicle fistula and rectovaginal fistula.

Entamoeba histolytica infection is associated with malnutrition and stunting of growth.Usually the infection is asymptomatic and it can remain latent for a long period. Asymptomatic carriers pass cysts in the feces.


  • Lower abdominal pain, diarrhea and followed by dysenteryAmoebiasis- A gastroenteritis problem
  • Blood and mucus filled stools
  • Irregular bowel movement
  • Formation of intestinal ulcers


  • Microscopic stool observation
  • FBC (leukocytosis), raised ESR, abnormal LFTs (raised alkaline phosphatase and transaminases)


Treatment includes using of antibiotics prescribed by the physician, if vomiting occurs it is advised to give the drugs intravenously


Transmission of the parasite occurs through unhygienic conditions like not washing hands properly after visiting the toilet. Eating and drinking water which is contaminated with fecal matter. The parasite forms into a dormant stage known as cyst which is resistant to harsh conditions and when it comes in contact with the human it starts its life cycle.


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