Dr. Ira Shah
Consultant Pediatrician, B.J.Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai, India
First Created: 01/09/2001  Last Updated: 08/01/2015

Patient Education

What is the Amoebiasis?

Amoebiasis (pronounced as ami-b-asis) is a germ that mainly leads to diarrhea. It is caused by a parasite called Entamoeba histolytica.

How does Amoebiasis spread?

Amoebiasis usually occurs by the consumption of contaminated water or food that contains the cysts of entamoeba. Most often it spreads by house flies and cockroaches.

What are the symptoms of Amoebiasis?

Children with amebiasis present with loose motions with blood and mucus, foul-smelling flatus, and uneasiness. Chronic infection may lead to weight loss and malnourished children. There is a pain in the lower abdomen especially on passing a bowel motion. If the infection period is long it can involve the liver and other body organs also leading to a condition called an amoebic abscess.

How is diagnosis of Amoebiasis made?

Amoebiasis is diagnosed by examination of stool and isolating the cysts of the entamoeba.

How is Amoebiasis treated?

Amoebiasis is a 100% treatable disease and specific antibiotics such as metronidazole or nitazoxanide may be used for the treatment under a doctor’s prescription. If the disease is advanced and has lead to the formation of abscess then the abscess may need to be removed by surgery.

How can Amoebiasis be prevented?

Filtration of water and boiling of water kills cysts that cause amebiasis. There is no vaccine available for the prevention of amoebic infection.

1. Leder K and Weller PF. Intestinal Entamoeba histolytica amebiasis. Accessed 7th February 2016.
2. Principles and practice of pediatric infectious diseases 4th edition, 2012. Editors: SS Long, LK Pickering and CG Prober. Elsevier Saunders.
3. Haque R, Huston CD, Hughes M, Houpt E, and Petri, Jr. WA. Current concepts: Amebiasis. New Eng J Med 2003; 348: 1565-73.
4. American Academy of Pediatrics Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases “Red book” 29th edition, 2012.

Amoebiasis Amoebiasis 2015-08-01
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