Entameba histolytica


Standard Precautions

General Information

Amoeba associated with intestinal and extraintestinal infections.

Because of the protection conferred by their walls, the cysts can survive days to weeks in the external environment and are responsible for transmission.

Transmitted by the ingestion of cysts through fecal-oral contact, usually through contaminated food or water. Also possible to occur through exposure to fecal matter during sexual contact.

Majority of cases occur in tropic areas with poor sanitary conditions.

  • Asymptomatic cyst passer

  • Diarrhea

  • Dysentery

  • Hepatic abscess

  • Appendicitis

  • Liver abscess

  • Peritonitis

Difficult to diagnose because other parasites can look very similar.

Can identify E. histolytica by stool antigen or preferably by stool PCR.

Reference Shirley DT et al. A review of the global burden, new diagnostics, and current therapeutics for amebiasis. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2018;5(7):ofy161. https://doi.org/10.1093/ofid/ofy161

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