Pronunciation key

( am-i-by'-uh-suhs )



Amebiasis is a general medical term for infections in humans which are caused by the amoeba Entamoeba histolytica. Intestinal infections alone are called amoebic dysentery. Amebiasis occurs throughout the world, but in the United States in recent years, nearly 3,000 cases were reported. This infection is most common in tropical regions. In some areas more than half of the population is at risk of developing amebiasis during their life.

The parasite is usually ingested in encysted form in a contaminated food or water supply. Dysentery symptoms vary in the amount of time they take to appear and may recur long after remission. While some people remain seemingly healthy and symptom-free, they may still be carriers of the infection. Without treatment amebiasis can lead to ulcers in the stomach and peritonitis. The amoeba potentially can be carried in the blood supply to the liver and cause amoebic hepatitis and ulcers. Abscesses could also develop in other organs, and rarely, the brain.

Drugs currently available are effective to treat the condition but liver and other complications may require surgery.

References and Further Reading

  • Grolier Encyclopedia of Knowledge, ©1991
  • Ameba, Definition
  • Ameba, Extended Article
  • No comments:

    Post a Comment