Amoeba or Entamoeba Histolytica is a parasite that causes the infection of the intestines known as Amoebiasis. Protozoal infections are most common in tropical countries in which poor sanitation and inadequate hygienic conditions predominately exist.
Protozoa are heterotrophic microorganisms that are single celled and nurture themselves at the expense of other. They are versatile and exist in different shapes and sizes. It is broadly classified as amoebas, ciliates, flagellates and sporozoan. Amoeba is the most common protozoa, and its scientific name is Amoeba proteus.
They are widely distributed in soil water and damp areas. It forms long extensions known as pseudopods around the food and ingest it. Entamoeba histolytic is the most common protozoa that infect the intestinal walls of the human being. It causes amoebic dysentery.
Causes of Amoebiasis:
The causative parasite can reside in the intestinal walls of infected people. The infection can spread through the blood to the liver. It can cause colitis, dysentery-like conditions. It is the most common disease that happens worldwide and is predominately present in the tropical countries. Poor sanitation and highly populated nations suffer from this condition.
Ingesting contaminated food and getting contact with the infected person. Parasites have a several number of transmission modes. It can get transmitted via faecal oral, transdermal route and use of cockroaches and flies. If you come in contact with the person who is already infected there are increased chances of getting an infection if he or she has poor hygiene. There are few triggers that can cause severe amoebiasis such as:
• Alcoholism • Cancer • Malnutrition • Pregnancy • Medications like corticosteroid suppress the immune system
Signs and Symptoms:
The infection caused by amoeba has following symptoms:
• Dysentery • Too much gas production in bowel • Weight loss • Fever • Tiredness • Unsettled stomach or sickness • Tummy cramping
Rarely, amoebiasis can cause an abscess (infection) in the liver. After the infection of this protozoan, it may take a few days, several months or even years before you become ill, but it usually shows up in about two or four weeks. Entamoeba histolytic parasites are only found in humans.
Adverse effects of the problem:
Predominantly amoeba affects the gastrointestinal tract, but in some cases the parasite may invade liver. Some other complication associated with Amoebiasis are bloody diarrhoea, pericolic and pericaecal abscess.
The poor sanitation is the residence of a causative parasite. So to prevent the infection one should keep following things in mind:
• Avoid drinking from unknown sources. Always drink purified water • Exercise good cleaning of hands after using a toilet. Use liquid soaps and wash your hands in lukewarm or running water. • Dry your hands properly after washing • Mothers should always wash hands after changing nappies for their babies • Don’t share towels and innerwear • Toilet disinfection should be done on regular basis. Wash the washroom and toilet seat with detergents and strong disinfectants and dry it completely after cleaning • Thoroughly, clean the fruits and vegetables before cooking and store them in covered containers • Special attention should be taken by the people who frequently travel in developing countries. One should be alert in selecting food and drink items for himself. Avoid intake of raw food and unpackaged drinks
Common Anti-Amebiasis medicines:
The common anti-amoebiasis drugs that are recommended for the treatment of Amoebiasis are:
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Myths and facts:
Myth: clear liquids ease diarrhoea
Fact: it is not true, infect the fluid in the form of sugary juices will increase the recovery time. Instead you can feed starchy liquids to the patient to spped up the recovery.
Myth: in children teething can cause diarrhoea
Fact: No, teething doesn’t cause diahhroea , but if your child is feeling sick during teething taken him/her to the doctor and do not mispercept it as a fact that teehing is causing loose stools.
Diagnosis of Amebiasis disease:
Infection is diagnosed by detecting the presence of the parasite in the stools. Stools of three different days are microscopically evaluated, and results are deduced after that. In some critical condition, the needle is inserted in the liver abscess and fluid is taken out and is analyzed by the pathologist. It determines the presence of parasitic infection in the intestine.
Colonoscopy and Sigmoidoscopy are the techniques used to get the better and clearer image of colon and rectum. In both the techniques, a small tube is inserted via anus that has fiber optic channels and shows the inside out image of rectum and colon.
Treatment for Amebiasis disease:
There is no over the counter medicines available for the treatment of amoebiasis. Antiamoebic are the drugs available as the best treatment option available. It is very important to complete your full treatment course and follow the prescription properly. They can be classified according to their effects such as:
Drugs for systemic infections
The drugs falling under this category are effective against amoebas in the intestinal wall and liver. The common drugs recommended are Metronidazole, Secnidazole, Tinidazole, Chloroquine.
Metronidazole: It is antibiotic that kills the anaerobic microorganisms such as protozoa and make the gut free from them. It is prescribed for amoebic colitis condition. It is contraindicated in following conditions such as:
• Liver problem or kidney dialysis • Pregnancy and lactating mothers • Allergic reaction • Alcohol dependent
It shows side effects like nausea, vomiting, headache and dry mouth. It can interact with Disulfiram a drug used in the treatment of alcoholism and can synergistically increase nausea and vomiting. Secnidazole exerts the same mode of action as Metronidazole and is given in the treatment of Giardiasis, Trichomoniasis and Bacterial vaginosis
Drugs for luminal infections
It comprises of Diloxanide furoate, and Iodoquinol are the drugs that treat the luminal amoebicide infections. They are given along with antibiotics mentioned above for the treatment of intestinal and extra intestinal infections. They are a drug of choice for asymptomatic luminal infections. Buy various antiamoebic medicines online from various health care pharmacies online at cheap rates.
Steps to improve the health:
• To avoid the transmission of this protozoan, it is very necessary to wash hands properly with soap as it infectious Amoeba is also present in the faecal contents of the patient; hence the patients must be careful about the cleanliness and transmission chances. • Child care workers, those who handle food items and health care workers with amoebiasis must not work until symptoms have stopped. • Children must not be allowed to attend child care centres, kindergartens or school until symptoms have stopped.
Important thing to know:
The Entamoeba histolytica can cause deleterious effects such as asymptomatic intestinal infection, mild to moderate colitis, dysentery and liver abscess. According to WHO global burden of disease study, it has caused around 70,000 deaths per year worldwide.