Amoebiasis is an infection caused by Entamoeba histolytica that shows with or without symptoms. Synonyms include entamoebiasis, amoebiosis, amoebic dysentery or bloody flux. Amoebiasis is treated using anti-amoebic drugs that work to kill those harmful amoeba causing stomach problems. Entamoeba dispar is a harmless commensal, which is indistinguishable from E. Histolytica. Some other members of the group that infect humans are E. Moshkovskii, E. Hartmannii, E. Gingivalis, Endolimax nana and Iodamoeba butschlii. It is a gastrointestinal infection that may or may not be symptomatic and can remain latent in an infected person for several years.
It invades intestinal lining causing amoebic dysentery or amoebic colitis. If the parasite reaches the bloodstream, it can spread through the body, most frequently ending up in the liver where it causes amoebic liver abscesses. Liver abscesses (pus-filled cavity) can occur without a previous development of amoebic dysentery. Even when symptoms are not present, the infected individual remains a carrier, i.e. The person can spread the parasite to others through poor hygienic practices.
Causes of Amoebiasis:
This disease spread with the consumption of contaminated water and food that contains the cyst of Entamoeba. Commonly it is spread by houseflies and cockroaches. Amoebiasis is usually transmitted by the fecal-oral route, but it can also be transmitted indirectly through contact with dirty hands or objects as well as by anal-oral contact. Amoebic dysentery is often confused with "traveler's diarrhea" because of its prevalence in developing nations. In fact, most traveler's diarrhea is bacterial or viral in origin.
Signs and Symptoms:
The symptoms of amoebic dysentery can be mild to severe depending on the location of an infection. The infection can become life threatening in an individual having AIDS or in HIV sufferers or post-transplant patient.
Intermittent diarrhea with foul-smelling stool that may be preceded by constipation
Blood and mucous in the stool
Abdominal cramps and pain
Gas and abdominal bloating
Adverse effects of the problem:
The incubation period of Intestinal Amoebiasis can vary, ranging from a few days to months or years but is 1 to 4 weeks. The wide spectrum of intestinal infection ranges from asymptomatic to transient intestinal inflammation to severe colitis with an array of manifestations that may include toxic megacolon and peritonitis. These are secondary to severe toxemia (affects pregnancy) perforation of the bowel, toxic megacolon, rupture of the hepatic abscess, lung, peritoneum, pericardium, skin and subcutaneous tissue. Extra-intestinal spread in the brain and bones is uncommon. Formation of a granuloma in the stomach wall mimicking a malignant growth, the Amoeboma, is also not common. Rarely, a large hepatic abscess producing obstructive jaundice can occur. Fever, Leukocy¬tosis with elevated polymorphs, the rise in hepatic enzymes and serum bilirubin are the additions of the complications.
Preventive measures: if you take the following tips, you can easily prevent the conditions of amoebiasis:
Public education about personal hygiene and the sanitary disposal of feces
Education of food handlers about proper food & equipment handling & hygiene
Advice infected individuals to avoid food preparation
Contaminated water can be a source of transmission of enteric pathogens
Test private water supplies for the presence of parasitic contamination
Advice infected individuals against using public swimming pools
Educate about risk of sexual practices that permit fecal-oral contact
Flies may act as vectors in transferring cyst-laden feces on to eatables.
Cysts remain viable for several days to months depending on the temperature and moisture of the external atmosphere
Cysts may survive up to 45 minutes in the fecal material lodged under the fingernails
Cysts are killed only by boiling water for 10 minutes and not by routine chlorination
Sand filters can prove to be very useful
Common anti-Amoebic medicines:
Anti amoebiasis or anti- amoebic medicines are available online at very cheap rates where you can buy them very easily. The following drugs are commonly used:
Myths and facts:
Myth: you should give rest to your stomach if you have diarrhoea Fact: if you have diarrhoea do not fast or starve yourself off food as it can lead to severe weakness. Kids with diarrhoea should not be left an empty stomach and should be fed light food after every 3-4 hours.
Myth: fiber is not good for diarrhoea, as it is for constipation Fact: fibre is good for both constipation and diarrhoea. You must just be careful that soluble fibre makes stool harder while the insoluble form makes the stool loose. So, while suffering from diarrhoea, you can opt for soluble fibre like cooked beans, peas, oat bran and peeled fruits.
Diagnosis of Amoebiasis:
Stool examination, preferably for three consecutive days is done to confirm the presence of the disease. The presence of only cysts in asymptomatic individuals is not diagnostic, since the cysts of E. Dispar, which is noninvasive and harmless, is indistinguishable from those of invasive E. Histolytica.
Ultrasound (USG) scan of the abdomen helps in the delineation of hepatic abscesses
X-ray of the chest helps in the detection of spread to the pleura, lung or pericardium
X-ray of the abdomen is useful for the diagnosis of peritonitis and toxic megacolon
Computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging helps in the diagnosis spread of intracranial amoebiasis
Antibody detection at the end of 1 week of invasive amoebiasis, indirect hemagglutination assay (IHA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) are diagnostic
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in advanced centers is confirmatory
Treatment for Amoebiasis::
According to WHO guidelines, asymptomatic cyst shredders need/should not to be treated
Combination therapy with luminal and tissue amoebiasis is highly recommended.
The introduction of nitroimidazole derivatives has revolutionized the treatment of amoebiasis. Though metronidazole and other derivatives are highly toxic to the vegetative forms and a lesser extent the cysts, a course of luminal amoebicides is recommended for complete cure
E. Histolytica infections occur in both the intestine and (in people with symptoms) in the tissue of the intestine and liver. As a result, two different classes of drugs are needed to treat the infection, one for each location.
1. Tissue Amoebicides: These are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to the site of infection. Because they are rapidly absorbed there is almost nothing remaining in the intestine.
Doses for children are calculated by body weight, and a pharmacist should be consulted for help. You can buy these anti-amoebic medicines online from various reputed sites, that offer several discounts.
2. Luminal (intestinal lumen) Amoebicides: These are recommended to prevent relapses following the course of tissue amoebicides:
Steps to improve the health:
You can consume small portions of soluble fibres in the form of cooked peas, beans and some peeled fruits. Avoid untreated water, contaminated food and drink. You can also stay away from uncooked foods, particularly vegetables and fruit.
Important thing to know:
Ten percent of world’s population is estimated to be infected by the parasite (4% in The USA) with an estimated annual mortality of 40,000-70,000. However, 90% of those infected are asymptomatic, 1% may develop invasive/extra intestinal amoebiasis.