Intestinal amebiasis caused by entamoeba histolytica

What is Intestinal Amebiasis?

Intestinal amebiasis is an infection of the large intestine caused by an intestinal parasite known as Entamoeba histolytica. This single-celled parasite can enter the body through the ingestion of contaminated food or water, and can cause an infection of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms of amebiasis include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. If left untreated, more serious complications can occur.

Symptoms of Intestinal Amebiasis

The most common symptom of amebiasis is abdominal pain, which is usually located in the lower part of the abdomen. Other symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and weight loss. Some people may also experience anemia, fever, or bloody stools. In more severe cases, complications such as intestinal ulcers and abscesses, liver abscesses, or an inflammation of the peritoneum may occur.

Diagnosis of Intestinal Amebiasis

Amebiasis can usually be diagnosed with a physical exam, followed by laboratory tests such as a stool sample or an intestinal biopsy. The stool sample is examined under a microscope for the presence of Entamoeba histolytica, which is the only parasite that causes amebiasis. In more severe cases, further testing may be needed to diagnose the condition.

How is Intestinal Amebiasis Treated?

Treatment for intestinal amebiasis typically includes medications such as metronidazole, paromomycin, or iodoquinol. These drugs are taken orally to kill the parasite and to reduce symptoms. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove any abscesses or blockages caused by the parasite. Additionally, a longer course of medication may be needed to ensure the infection is completely cleared.

Prevention of Intestinal Amebiasis

The best way to prevent amebiasis is to practice good hygiene. Avoid ingesting contaminated food or water, and make sure to wash your hands regularly, especially when preparing and eating food. It’s also important to avoid contact with people who have the infection, as well as to avoid sharing food and utensils with those who are infected.

Complications of Intestinal Amebiasis

If left untreated, amebiasis can lead to serious complications, such as:

  • Intestinal ulcers or abscesses
  • Liver abscesses
  • Inflammation of the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity)
  • Spread of the infection to other organs

It’s important to seek treatment for amebiasis as soon as possible to reduce the chances of developing any of these complications.