Amoebic infection, also known as amoebiasis or entamoebiases is characterized as a infection caused by any of the amoebas of the Entamoeba group. Most infections are asymptomatic, but they mostly cause intestinal diseases and infections. Symptoms happen by the infection by Entamoeba histolytica. Symptoms include abdominal pain, loose stool, mild diarrhoea, stomach pain, bloody diarrhea or severe colitis. But some people may not experience the symptoms, while having amebiasis.
WHO IS A RISK FOR AMOEBIC INFECTION?
Amoebic infection is mostly common those countries having poor sanitation. The Merck Manual states that amoebic infection is mostly common in the part of South and Central America, Indian subcontinent and some parts of Africa. People living in United State are at the lowest risk of developing amoebic infection.
People at the highest risk of amoebic infection include:
- People who have traveled to areas with low sanitation
- Immigrants from tropical countries with poor sanitation
- People who reside in areas with poor sanitary conditions, including prisons.
- People having weakened immune systems and poor health.
Causes of Amoebic Infection :
Entamoeba histolytica is a one celled protozoan that mostly invades the human body when a person takes food or water contaminated with E.histolytica. It also enters the body by direct contact with dump of animal, human beings and birds. The microscopic cysts of E. Histolytica are present ir water, soil and air that’s been contaminated with infected feces. Food handlers mostly transmit cysts. It is also transmitted through anal sex.
When cysts enter the body through any ways, they reside in the digestive tract. Then they start releasing a parasite called trophozite. This parasite starts reproducing inside the digestive tract after which it migrates to the intestine. This can cause colitis, diarrhea and the destruction of tissue.
After trophozites enters the intestinal walls, they pass into the blood and invade to other organs. If they reach a organ, they may cause:
- Severe illness
SYMPTOMS OF AMOEBIC INFECTION:
Symptoms of amoebic infection differ in mild and severe cases. These include:
- Loose stools
- Stomach cramping
- Bloody stools
- Tissue destruction and abscesses
- Excessive gas
- Rectal pain while having a bowel movement (tenesmus)
- Unintentional weight loss
DIAGNOSIS OF AMOEBIC INFECTION:
A doctor may diagnose amoebic infection causing amoeba, E. Histolytica, in your stool samples. He does that by screening the presence of cyst. If your internal organs gets damaged, then the doctor will CT scan to check lesions on your liver. A colonoscopy may be used to check the presence of amoeba in the colon or intestinal tissue.
TYPES OF AMOEBIS INFECTIONS:
Amoebic infections are divided into different types based on the organ or part they affect and type of amoeba. These include:
It is caused by Dientamoeba fragilis. It affects the gastrointestinal tract of humans.
- Cutaneous Amoebiasis
It is caused by Acanthamoeba or Entamoeba histolytica. It mainly affects the skin.
- Amebic Liver Abscesses
It is caused by Entamoeba Histolytica. It affects the liver.
MEDICATIONS TO TREAT AMOEBIC INFECTION:
There are many different medications to treat different types of amoebic infections.
FOR ASYMPTOMATIC AMOEBIC INFECTION:
- Iodoquinol (Yodoxin)
- Diloxanide furoate
FOR AMEBIC LIVER ABSCESS:
- Chloroquine Phosphate (Aralen)
- Dehydrometine (Mebadin)
I have mentioned common measures to prevent the spread of amoebic infection around the home:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with a mild soap for aleast 15 sec after using the toilet and before eating food.
- Clean bathrooms and toilets everyday and thoroughly.
- Avoid face washers, towels or clothes.
To help prevent the infection:
- Avoid raw vegetables when in areas having poor sanitation.
- Boil drinking water or add iodine tablets in it.
- Avoid eating street foods especially in public places.