Entamoeba histolytica and polecki: Entamoeba causes amoebiasis and is protozoal parasite 

Protozoa-Entamoeba 1

Entamoeba cyst

Notice the chromatoid bodies with blunt, rounded ends (arrow).

What is Entamoeba and amoebiasis? Entamoeba is an intestinal protozoal parasite causing amoebiasis (Traveler’s diarrhea). The top picture is of the trophozoites (adult form) which travels in the gut. The rounder examples are the spores that live in the intestinal crypts and come out during times of stress. These are also the form passed into our water and  that spread from animals to us via our hands and splatters of fecal matter. 

Common Sources of Infection—Water, food contaminated with monkey or pig feces. 

Symptoms of Amoebiasis: Mucoid or bloody diarrhea, colitis, severe diarrhea with fever, enlarged liver and abdominal pain. The liver can become abscessed if the disease is not treated and can cause death. The incubation period is 2-4 weeks which means you have to be exposed and the parasite needs time to grow before symptoms occur. 

Diagnosis and Treatment of Amoebiasis: Microscopic exam of fresh feces is needed to see the cysts and immature trophozoites. Blood tests are also available. X-rays may help in diagnosis (to see liver involvement). Metronidazole is the treatment of choice. 

Prevention of Amoebiasis: Iodine treatment or appropriate filtration of the water; Proper sanitation and disposal of fecal material; Educate food handlers as to the way parasites are transmitted. 

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