Amoebiasis is an infection caused by a protozoa (microorganism) called Entamoeba histolytica. Symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloody stools (a jelly-like stool containing blood and mucus) can be seen when an intestinal infection causes colonic amoebiasis. Amoebic liver abscesses are commonly seen, as they can cause lesions outside the intestine. In this case, pus accumulates in the liver, causing fever and right upper abdominal pain.
Route of infection and prevention
Entamoeba histolytica is excreted in the stools containing the protozoa of infected people. It can be transmitted through ingestion of the infected stool.
Transmission can occur through cooking food without washing their hands well, and can also become prevalent as a sexually transmitted disease by oral sex and sexual activity such as licking the anus. Persistent epidemics occur in areas with poor sanitation. Occasionally, there are outbreaks in day care facilities and the elderly home as well.
To prevent infection, it is important to wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet, changing diapers, and before handling food. It is also important to avoid risky practices such as oral sex with infected persons, sexual activity such as licking the anus, and drinking contaminated water in poorly sanitized areas.
The use of condoms and avoiding direct contact with the anus can prevent you from getting infected.
When amoebiasis is suspected based on a history of travel to endemic areas and/or a history of high-risk sexual activity, microscopic examination is performed to determine if there is an amoebic parasite in the stool. For enteritis, a colonoscopy may be done. If a lesion outside the intestine is suspected, imaging tests will be done according to the location of the lesion.
If your partner is diagnosed with amoeba dysentery, or if you experience diarrhea or other symptoms after returning from an endemic area, we recommend that you visit a doctor immediately.
An oral antibacterial drug is effective against the amoeba parasite.
There are two types of dysentery amoeba, a cyst and a vegetative type. Symptoms are caused by the vegetative type, so the vegetative type is treated first.
After that, cysts are treated to prevent recurrence.