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Amebiasis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Amebiasis definition

Amebiasis is a infection caused by pathogenic amebas or protozon, especially Entamoeba histolytica. It is also called as amebiosis, amebism and amebic dysentery. Amebic dysentery is an acute or chronic protozoal infection. This infection produces varying degrees of illness, from no symptoms at all or mild diarrhea to fulminant dysentery.

Amebiasis Causes

Amebiasis is caused by Entamoeba histolytica, a microscopic one-celled parasite. Amebiasis is most prevalent in tropical and subtropical countries where standards of public hygiene and sanitation may be low. People get amebiasis when they swallow Entamoeba histolytica cysts. This can happen by putting anything into the mouth that has touched the stool of an infected person. Trophozoites often live in the large intestine without causing any symptoms, but sometimes they invade the lining of the large intestine, causing intestinal disease called intestinal amebiasis.

E. histolytica exists in two forms:

  • a cyst: which may be survived outside the body.
  • a trophozoite: which may not be survived outside the body.

Transmission generally occurs through ingestion of cysts from food or water contaminated by feces. All household members should have their stools examined, because person to person transmission can occur. Humans are the principal reservoir of infection.

Amebiasis symptoms

people which are infected with E. histolytica are symptom-free, and if any type of symptoms that do arise, like diarrhea, and abdominal pain are usually mild. Amebiasis may exist without symptoms for many years. In many persons, the parasite lives in the intestine and does not cause illness, or causes mild intestinal symptoms.

On average, about one in 10 people who are infected with E. histolytica becomes sick from the infection. Even less commonly, it spreads to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or brain.  The symptoms often are quite mild and can include

  • loose stools
  • stomach pain
  • stomach cramping.

Amebiasis Treatments

The choice of drug for the treatment of the amebiasis are depends on the type of clinical presentation and the site of drug action.

In case of amebiasis,to reduce fever and make the child more comfortable, acetaminophen such as tylenol may be given.

Drugs used to treat severe amebic dysentery include metronidazole at intestinal and extraintestinal sites and for amebic hepatic abscess, followed by it ldoquinol, diloxanide, or paromomycin, effective amebicides also used for asymptomatic carriers.

Several antibiotics are available in the market for the treatment of amebiasis.

Amebiasis treatment must be prescribed by a physician and can require more than one kind of medicine. Treatment is only available by prescription from a health care provider.

 

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