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Amebiasis is a disease caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. It can affect anyone, although it is more common in people who live in tropical areas with poor sanitary conditions. Diagnosis can be difficult because other parasites can look very similar to E. histolytica when seen under a microscope. Infected people do not always become sick.
Entamoeba are pseudopod-forming, protozoan parasites in the subphylum Sarcodina. The genus Entamoeba is composed of five species that infect humans: E. histolytica, E. dispar, E. hartmanni, E. coli, E. polecki and E. gingivalis. Only E. histolytica is known to cause disease in humans.
Entamoeba histolytica – protozoan parasite. E. histolytica is one of three morphologically identical species of Entamoeba commonly found in humans; the others are E. dispar and E. moshkovskii. Only E. histolytica causes invasive disease in humans; the others are non-pathogenic.
Entamoeba, protozoan genus of the rhizopodian order Amoebida. Most species are parasitic in the intestines of many vertebrates, including humans; E. histolytica is the cause of human amebic dysentery.
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Several protozoan species in the genus Entamoeba colonize humans, but not all of them are associated with disease. Entamoeba histolytica is well recognized as a pathogenic ameba, associated with intestinal and extraintestinal infections. Other morphologically-identical Entamoeba spp., including E. dispar, E. moshkovskii, and E. bangladeshi, are generally not associated with disease although investigations into pathogenic potential are ongoing. While the discussed species are morphologically-identical, E. histolytica may be observed with ingested red blood cells (erythrophagocytosis); E. dispar may occasionally be seen with ingested erythrocytes as well, although its capacity for erythrophagocytosis is much less than that of E. histolytica. Non-pathogenic amebae (e.g. Endolimax nana, Iodamoeba buetschlii, other Entamoeba species) are important because they may be confused with E. histolyticain diagnostic investigations.
Cysts and trophozoites are passed in feces . Cysts are typically found in formed stool, whereas trophozoites are typically found in diarrheal stool. Infection with Entamoeba histolytica (and E.dispar) occurs via ingestion of mature cysts from fecally contaminated food, water, or hands. Exposure to infectious cysts and trophozoites in fecal matter during sexual contact may also occur. Excystation occurs in the small intestine and trophozoites are released, which migrate to the large intestine. Trophozoites may remain confined to the intestinal lumen (A: noninvasive infection) with individuals continuing to pass cysts in their stool (asymptomatic carriers). Trophozoites can invade the intestinal mucosa (B: intestinal disease), or blood vessels, reaching extraintestinal sites such as the liver, brain, and lungs (C: extraintestinal disease). Trophozoites multiply by binary fission and produce cysts , and both stages are passed in the feces . Cysts can survive days to weeks in the extern...
Pathogenic Entamoeba species occur worldwide and are frequently recovered from fresh water contaminated with human feces. The majority of amebiasis cases occur in developing countries. In industrialized countries, risk groups include men who have sex with men, travelers, recent immigrants, immunocompromised persons, and institutionalized populations.